Affordable Housing

Making sure that New Yorkers can afford to stay in their homes, and creating new, appropriate affordable housing may be the greatest challenge confronting our city. We need to save the affordable housing we have, while finding ways to leverage current development into new affordable housing. By strengthening our rent laws, preserving affordable units, combating predatory lending, and helping small landlords maintain below-market rents, we can keep the economic diversity and opportunity that makes New York great.

Tax breaks on real estate deals for people like A-Rod cost city 900M a year

New York Daily News
02/25/2011

Yankees star Alex Rodriguez will pay virtually no property tax for a $6 million apartment he is buying on the upper West Side due to the 421A program, which ended in December for any new construction. The city's powerful real estate industry is determined to get it renewed and even get it expanded.

Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander has been leading the fight against that renewal.

It's too much of a giveaway to developers, Lander says, especially since there's already a glut of luxury housing in this town.

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In the Press: City Mulls Extending Tax Breaks to Jump-Start Stalled Sites

construction site
WNYC
02/08/2011

The city wants to give developers more time to take advantage of a tax abatement for new apartment buildings. Housing officials said the move is needed to get stalled construction sites moving but critics call the move a giveaway for real estate developers.

Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander disagrees and said the lost tax revenue is badly needed during this year's budget. Lander said many of the stalled sites were speculative projects that were started only to take advantage of the tax break. Read more »

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Reporting back to you (one year in)

As a deep believer in democratic accountability, I know it is essential to report back to the community that I serve.

One year into my tenure in the City Council, I’m pleased to share an annual report on some of what we accomplished in 2010, and a little of what we’re hoping to do in the year to come.

You can view the report here – it is broken down by issue, and by the various neighborhoods in the district. Read more »

In the Press: NYC Council Progressive Caucus Responds to Bloomberg's State of the City Address

Huffington Post
01/19/2011

The tragic shooting in Arizona earlier this month has caused us all to reflect on the plague of gun violence in our society, and the need for greater civility in our political discourse. We laud the Mayor for his longstanding leadership and tireless efforts to get illegal guns off of our streets, and to reduce gun violence.

But we are disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the need to "face reality" in his State of the City Speech today without outlining a real plan of action to address the economic realities facing most New Yorkers at a time when our city remains in a severe economic crisis. Read more »

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Statement on the Passage of the Culver El Rezoning

I am pleased to announce that the City Council approved the Culver El Rezoning today. By combining the strengths of the initial proposal (developed by community organizations and elected officials in 2005) with changes suggested by community members and achieved by the Council, the rezoning we passed today will create much-needed and long-term affordable homeownership, preserve commercial and manufacturing jobs, and set a path for addressing open space and school over-crowding issues in the surrounding neighborhoods. Read more »

New York Communities Take on Foreclosures

The Nation
08/30/2010

New York's foreclosure problem has become a full-blown crisis.

In 2009, there were 50,000 foreclosures in the entire state and nearly half were in New York City. Now, over 265,000 mortgages are past due or in the foreclosure process. Foreclosures in the city were up 16 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year. Banks have provided little relief, making less than 12,000 permanent modifications throughout New York since May 2009.

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Stalled Development in the 39th Council District

We need to make these sites into assets for the community!

Many of these developments are causing real hazards for their neighbors, with fences falling down on sidewalks, loose construction debris that can become deadly in high winds, and unsecured sites that are dangerous for children and an invitation to squatting.

Help the effort to convert local blight to community benefit by providing feedback and tracking the progress of each site. Read more »