Affordable Housing Lottery Seminar

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Mutual Housing Association of New York Management, Inc. will be hosting a Housing Lottery Seminar to educate residents of Brooklyn about the City’s affordable housing lottery process and maximizing the opportunity to be selected for City-sponsored affordable housing lotteries.

When: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 6:30pm
Where: The House of the Lord Church – 415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (between Bond & Nevins Streets)

Feel free to contact Petra-Ann Younge at 718-246-8080 ext. 207 or petra@mutualhousingny.org with questions or comments.

Mayor’s Housing Plan Unveiled

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Mayor de Blasio’s office has put out a press release on his long awaited housing affordability plan, which you can read below. The plan itself can be found by clicking the link at the bottom.

MAYOR DE BLASIO UNVEILS ‘HOUSING NEW YORK’: A FIVE-BOROUGH, 10-YEAR HOUSING PLAN TO PROTECT AND EXPAND AFFORDABILITY

$41 billion total investment to yield 200,000 new and preserved affordable apartments over the coming decade—the largest and most ambitious affordability plan of its kind in nation’s history

City to double HPD’s capital budget, target vacant and underused land, protect tenants in rent-regulated apartments

Streamline rules and processes to unlock new development opportunities, contain costs and accelerate affordable construction

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today laid out a 10-year plan to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments across all five boroughs—enough housing to serve more than a half-million New Yorkers. The $41 billion Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan is the most expansive and ambitious affordable housing agenda of its kind in the nation’s history, and Mayor de Blasio pledged it would reach New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes at the bottom of the economic ladder, all the way to those in the middle class facing ever-rising rents in their neighborhoods.

“We have a crisis of affordability on our hands. It touches everyone from the bottom of the economic ladder, all the way up to the middle class. And so we are marshaling every corner of government and the private sector in an unprecedented response,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This plan thinks big – because it has to. The changes we are setting in motion today will reach a half-million New Yorkers, in every community, and from every walk of life. They will make our families and our city stronger.”

Housing New York outlines the broad principles and the specific policies City agencies will implement to reach Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goal. The plan emphasizes:

  • Unprecedented Scale: The plan calls for 200,000 affordable units over 10 years—120,000 preserved and 80,000 newly built.
  • Affordability for a Wide Range of Incomes: Affordability programs will serve households ranging from middle- to extremely low-income (under $25,150 for a family of four).
  • Proactive and Strategic Preservation of Existing Affordability: Agencies will use every tool at their disposal to protect tenants in both subsidized affordable housing and rent-regulated housing from the tide of deregulation, and to combat neglect and disrepair that threatens many affordable buildings.
  • New Opportunities for Growth and Density: The City will undertake ground-up neighborhood planning to identify corridors and communities with opportunities for more housing (both affordable and market), and coordinate greater density with necessary infrastructure.
  • Quality Jobs: Approximately 194,000 construction jobs and nearly 7,100 permanent jobs will be generated by the housing plan, and the City will work with stakeholders to make sure they are quality jobs and integrated into the City’s workforce development ecosystem.
  • Fewer Unnecessary Barriers and Delays: The City will streamline the development process and help to contain construction costs by overhauling outdated regulations and removing duplicative agency processes.

The 115-page plan, which was created through coordination with 13 agencies and with input from more than 200 individual stakeholders, outlines more than 50 initiatives that will accelerate affordable construction, protect tenants, and deliver more value from affordable housing investments, including:

Implementing Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning:
In all rezonings that substantially increase potential housing capacity, the City will require a portion of the new housing developed to be permanently affordable to low- or moderate-income households in order to ensure diverse and inclusive communities. The Department of City Planning, working with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, will initiate and expedite the completion of a study to provide the foundation for incorporating a mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program into the Zoning Resolution.

Increasing the Number of Homes for the Lowest Income New Yorkers:
The City will allocate additional resources to its housing programs to ensure that a higher percentage of units in affordable housing reach the neediest people. As a result of this commitment, the City will provide housing opportunity to 16,000 of very low-income households over the 10 years of this plan—more than four times the number served over the previous 12 years.

Launching a New Affordable Housing Program for Middle-Income New Yorkers:
As part of creating and preserving more than 20,000 homes for middle-income New Yorkers, the City will launch a new mixed-income program that is 100 percent affordable. Half of all units in these projects will be set aside for middle-income households. The remaining 20 and 30 percent, respectively, will be reserved for low- and moderate-income households. Middle-income housing is essential to support our economy and workforce, which increasingly cannot afford to live in our city.

Doubling HPD’s Capital Funding for Affordable Housing:
The Mayor’s 2015 budget will propose to more than double the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s annual capital budget in the 5-year plan, increasing investment to more than $2.5 billion. The City will expand its financial commitment to affordable housing using its capital dollars and tax expenditures to leverage other investment, and work with state and federal governments to expand their commitments.

Spurring Development of Small, Vacant Sites:
The City will launch two new programs to redevelop hundreds of vacant sites and build thousands of new units: the Neighborhood Construction Program and the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program. These programs will aggregate sites to develop affordable housing, including one- to four-family homeownership opportunities and up to 20-unit rental buildings. The programs will build capacity among smaller developers, local non-profits, and community development corporations to drive the projects.

Stemming the Tide of Rent Deregulation and Protecting Tenants:
The City will work with the state as rent regulation comes up for renewal in 2015 to prevent abuses of the vacancy and luxury decontrol provisions and capital improvement rules. The City will coordinate across all agencies and use every tool at its disposal—from legal action to closer scrutiny of City contracting with bad actors—to protect tenants in rent-regulated housing from landlord harassment and neglect.

Expanding Affordable and Supportive Housing for Seniors:
The City will leverage Project-Based Section 8 vouchers to make housing affordable to those seniors whose income remains stagnant or declines over time, and will continue to push for expanding income eligibility in the SCRIE program. The City will also actively seek out ways to integrate new senior housing in its development programs in collaboration with NYCHA, leveraging their resources and prioritizing their residents.

Offering Energy-Efficiency Retrofits in Exchange for Long-Term Affordability:
To help mitigate rising utility costs and preserve affordability, the City will launch a new program to targeting mid-size and small buildings—in concert with local utilities and existing subsidy programs—to encourage energy and water-use retrofits in exchange for affordability commitments from building owners. The program can help property owners reduce these operating costs by up to 30 percent.

Creating New Strategies to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness, and Develop Additional Supportive Housing:
The City will reallocate a portion of its homeless shelter funding to finance lower-cost permanent housing for homeless individuals and families. Investment in housing that is accompanied by supportive services yields significant taxpayer savings by reducing demand for high-cost shelters, hospitals, and other emergency resources. The City will seek to renew its partnership with the state to expand the development of supportive housing and to broaden the populations it serves. NYCHA will also reinstate its policy of setting aside units for families exiting the shelter system.

Read the full plan at nyc.gov/housing.

Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program

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As of July 1st, 2014, the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program will be expanded to cover seniors with incomes of up to $50,000 per year. This is critically important for older New Yorkers living on a fixed income. This is a substantial increase from the current income ceiling of $29,000. To qualify for SCRIE, you must be 62 years or older, live in a rent-regulated apartment, and have an annual household income of $50,000 or less.

If you need further assistance, visit Lenox Hill Neighborhood who offer a SCRIE Assistance Project that serves seniors citywide by calling (212) 744-5022 ext. 1392.

Discussion on Tax Liens

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DO YOU HAVE A TAX LIEN ON YOUR HOME?

BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT
ERIC ADAMS

AND

BROOKLYN CITY COUNCIL DELEGATION

INVITE YOU TO MEET WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM
NYC DEPARTMENTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, FINANCE
AND
HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT

DID YOU RECEIVE A LIEN SALE WARNING?
TO PROTECT YOUR HOMES…

A LIEN IS A LEGAL CLAIM AGAINST YOUR PROPERTY
FOR UNPAID WATER AND SEWER CHARGES OR
PROPERTY TAXES OR EMERGENCY REPAIRS AS WELL
AS OTHER MUNICPAL CHARGES. MEET ONE ON ONE
WITH REPRESENTATIVES TO DISCUSS IF YOU ARE:

• ELIGIBLE FOR EXEMPTIONS FROM A LIEN SALE
• ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE DEBT ASSISTANCE
• ELIGIBLE TO CREATE NO MONEY DOWN PAYMENT AGREEMENT

WHEN:
APRIL 30, 2014 FROM 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
WHERE:
BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL
COMMUNITY ROOM
209 JORALEMON STREET
BROOKLYN, NY 11201

A Message from our friends at the Dean Street Block Association

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The next weeks are very important for the future shape of our community, perhaps the most important in years. If we all work together, we can make a difference.

In 2009 New York State and Forest City Ratner broke the law when they failed to assess how our community may be negatively impacted by twenty-five years of Atlantic Yards construction instead of ten. They chose to put us at risk in order to secure expiring federal tax abatements for the arena. Together, with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, we sued and won.

Finally, as part of a court ordered process, a hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday evening, April 30th, and we can submit written statements until May 12th. Our block association is coordinating an effort to get local residents to speak at the hearing on the 30th, and also to write personal statements for the 12th.

Our quality of life is directly impacted by the way the project is implemented and operated, whether built quickly or slowly. For years residents have documented violations of environmental commitments related to negative impacts like air quality and noise that the State of New York has failed to enforce. For years we have looked at chain link fences and watched our street trees cut down without a credible replacement timetable. The first demolitions related to Atlantic Yards took place nine years ago, and construction of the sixteen high rises, affordable housing and open space in the project has just barely begun. Construction may take a generation or more.

Together with other local civic organizations, Dean Street Block Association has identified a few specific goals we think moving forward will most help those of us impacted by the project. First, we seek new oversight for the project by a dedicated public development corporation or subsidiary with a board that includes directors appointed in conjunction with local elected officials. We also seek improved oversight of environmental impacts, most especially those related to construction. Forest City Ratner is attempting to sell 70% of the project to the Chinese developer Greenland. Decisions will be made by a 5 member board, with 3 votes for Greenland and 2 for FCRC. We believe poor responsiveness to community concerns, and lack of accountability to the public, may only get worse.

You do not have to be an expert on Atlantic Yards to come and speak. We want you to come and show you care about our community. Talking about where you live, who you are, and that you care about our quality of life will make a difference.

If you can attend the hearing on the 30th and/or you are able to prepare a written statement, please contact pkrashes@earthlink.net If you need help getting to the hearing, let us know. And please encourage your friends and neighbors to come as well.

PUBLIC HEARING TO RESPOND TO THE DRAFT SEIS
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 2014 FROM 5:30 TO 9 PM
LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY, 75 DEKALB AVENUE, ROOM HS 107

Demystifying Landmarks: A Panel Discussion at Brooklyn Historical Society

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You own a brownstone or live in a landmarked district, but what happens when you want to make a repair or change? Learn about what the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission does, what your neighborhood association can do, the research resources Brooklyn Historical Society can provide, and your neighbors’ experiences. Panelists include Tom van den Bout, architect and former Brooklyn Heights Association President, William Neeley, Jr., Deputy Director of Preservation at NYC Landmarks, Elizabeth Call, Head of Reference and User Services at BHS, as well Prospect Heights homeowner Leslie Feder and a local building manager. This panel will give attendees practical tips on how to navigate a construction or renovation project through the Landmarks approval process.

$5/Free for BHS Members
Reserve tickets

Date: Tue, Apr 29
Time: 6:30pm

Place:
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Affordable Housing at Atlantic Yards

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On November 15, thirteen elected officials representing residents of communities near Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project came together to demand a new agreement for affordable housing at the site as a condition approving Forest City’s proposed sale of a majority interest in the plan to a foreign developer.

The representatives called for a court-ordered study of alternatives to be completed to make sure Brooklynites and the people of New York State get the best deal possible for their tax dollars. And they called for representative oversight of the project going forward to make sure this time promises are kept.

Now it’s your turn. Sign this online petition to speak up with more than a dozen local elected officials in demanding Governor Cuomo not allow Forest City to take its money out of Atlantic Yards without real guarantees that the promises it made for hundreds of millions in public subsidies will be kept.

SIGN THE PETITION

Dear Governor Cuomo:

Forest City Ratner promised the people of Brooklyn 2,250 affordable apartments at the Atlantic Yards project in exchange for hundreds of millions in public subsidies. Then it pushed back completing that housing for 25 years. Now Forest City wants to pull its money out of the project by selling a majority interest to a foreign developer.

That’s an outrage to thousands of families in danger of displacement, and it’s a raw deal for the taxpayers of New York State.

Brooklyn’s elected officials have said the State should allow the sale only if there are new guarantees for affordable housing to be delivered when originally promised and appropriate oversight to make sure they’re enforced. I agree, and call on you to direct the Empire State Development Corporation not to let the deal move forward until those conditions are met.

Meeting on First Residential Building at Atlantic Yards

The EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT in conjunction with BROOKLYN COMMUNITY BOARDS 2, 6 & 8  invite you to an informational meeting on the design of “B2″, the first residential building at Atlantic Yards, which will be 50% affordable. Representatives of the developer will make a presentation and answer questions.

Thursday, November 29, 2012
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Brooklyn Borough Hall – Courtroom
209 Joralemon St., Brooklyn

For more information contact Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project at AtlanticYards@esd.ny.gov.

Please note: This meeting will present the design for the new building, no applications will be taken for the affordable housing.

1 low-income apartment available

Community Counseling and Mediation (CCM), Georgia’s Place, located at 961 Prospect Place (at Bedford Avenue), has one low-income apartment available for an individual whose income falls between the range of $24,800 to 33,660 annually. CCM has been trying to find an occupant for the apartment since January 2012 to no avail. If you or anyone you know is in need of permanent, stable, and affordable housing, please contact CCM at 718-802-0666.

Town Hall Meeting on Tenants’ Rights and Housing Affordability

Calling tenants from Brooklyn and Queens:

  • Are you tired of soaring rents?
  • Is your community facing the pressures of gentrification?
  • Do you believe tenants need stronger protections NOW?
Come to a town hall meeting on tenants’ rights and housing affordability. Dinner will be provided.

Wednesday, May 23, 6PM
Lafayette Presbyterian, 85 S. Oxford St.