Friday, December 30, 2016

ProPublica: Why Big Developers Give $$$ to Politicians

(Illustration by Guy Parsons for ProPublica)
Why Developers of Manhattan Luxury Towers Give Millions to Upstate Candidates
A first-of-its-kind analysis shows just how tactical the real-estate industry is about bankrolling state legislators who will protect its $1.4 billion tax break and weaken rent laws.


by Cezary Podkul and Derek Kravitz, ProPublica, and Will Parker, The Real Deal, Dec. 30, 2016, 8 a.m.



Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Fateful Vote that Made NYC Rents So High

The Fateful Vote That Made 

New York City Rents So High

A 1994 City Council vote enabling landlords to dodge limits on rent increases has had a profound impact on the lives of New Yorkers.

McKee's Media - 12/8/2016

Articles of Interest to Tenant Advocates

Development
The Villager: Hundreds of downtown residents picket Chin & de Blasio to save Elizabeth Street garden
New York Times: City plans infrastructure for South Bronx riverfront to prepare for future development

Housing the Homeless
New York Times: Death of two sisters in radiator malfunction shines spotlight on de Blasio's efforts to address soaring homeless problems
Daily News: Defective radiator that killed two infants was reported in 2015
DNA Info: Council member Rafael Salamanca introduces bills to stop City from placing homeless families in buildings owned by slumlords

Landlords cheating tenants of rent stabilization protections, including 421-A
New York Patch: ProPublica publishes report showing landlords are bilking NYC out of millions of dollars & cheating tenants out of rent stabilization protections
New York Patch: De Blasio says NYC will crack down on landlords who get 421-a tax breaks but do not comply with rent stabilization
ProPublica: Find out with one click if your building is supposed to be rent-stabilized in return for 421-a tax benefits
Raphael Ruttenberg: Tenants left high & dry in crackdown on 421-a landlords (Daily News OpEd)
The Villager: Raphael Toledano ready to throw in the towel on 13 LES buildings

McKee's Media - 12/5/2016

ARTICLES of INTEREST to TENANT ADVOCATES

421-A
The Real Deal: The sloppy 421-a dispute

AirBnB

Landlords and Tenants

Trump picks Ben Carson to head HUD

McKee's Media - 12/1/2016

ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO TENANT ADVOCATES

Landlords plead guilty to harassment (no jail time)
Gothamist: Brooklyn D.A. lets slumlords Joel & Amron Israel plead quilty to tenant harassment without any jail time
New York Times: Landlord brothers admit to illegal eviction campaign in Brooklyn

AirBnB drops lawsuit against NYC
New York Times: Airbnb capitulates, drops lawsuit against NYC

421-A
Tom Waters, Community Service Society: 421-a is a wasteful subsidy to real estate developers & Cuomo's new deal would make it worse (New York Slant)
New York Slant: REBNY rebuts CSS analysis of Cuomo's 421-a deal
Newsday editorial: Cuomo should not link unrelated issues to pay raise; plus his 421-a deal is wasteful and should not be passed at all

Who will control the State Senate
Newsday: Democrat John Brooks ahead of GOP state senator Michael Venditto by 41 votes as recount ends in State Senate District 8; if Brooks win, Dems will have a 32-31 majority
New York Times: Democrat ahead by 41 votes in race for Long Island state senate seat; GOP vows to fight results in court; 1100 votes being challenged
Daily News: Cuomo urged to unite Democrats so they can control state senate
Crain's on maneuvers around control of state senate
Capitol Confidential: Stewart-Cousins talks with Cuomo about uniting state senate Dems
Tenant/Inquilino: Why the attempt to flip the state senate to Democratic control failed

Trump's son-in-law not maintaining apartments
The Villager: How can Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner be expected to negotiate peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians when he cannot bring his apartment buildings up to snuff?


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rally against 421-A deal

The proposed deal between the Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY) and the construction unions guarantees higher wages for buildings constructed with proposed 421-A tax breaks.  But at what cost?  On THURSDAY, DEC. 1 at 1 PM at City Hall in Manhattan, join the Real Rent Reform Campaign, the Alliance for Tenant Power and other coalitions opposed to the $billion giveaway to developers. 

See NY Slant's article by Tom Waters


GOVERNOR CUOMO’S FLAWED 421-A PROPOSAL

BY TOM WATERS |  
NOVEMBER 29, 2016 |  

Excerpt:  
In recent years, 421-a has cost New York City more than a billion dollars a year in foregone tax revenue ($1.2 billion in 2016), while producing about $100 million a year worth of affordable housing.
Cuomo’s proposal would cost the city $2.4 billion a year in revenue, without bringing about a remotely comparable increase in affordability benefit.
This enormous new tax expenditure would be wasteful in any context, but it is especially ill advised at a time when vital federal subsidy streams to the city are in jeopardy in a Trump presidency. For comparison, the New York City Housing Authority currently receives $910 million a year in federal operating subsidies for public housing and $930 million a year for Section 8 vouchers. 


Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Albany tax give-away to developers - Nov. 11, 2016 ?

From the Association of Neighborhood and Housing Development website:

Albany Gives Our Budget Away to REBNY As the City Faces Massive Loss of Federal Support

Albany Deal Will Give Away Billions More in Extended Real Estate Tax Exemption Proposal

The big-real estate developers lobbying group, REBNY, announced a proposed new deal today to bring back the controversial 421a Developers Tax Exemption. As ANHD pointed out in a blog last week, the proposal is unconscionable on its face because it will give developers an additional 10-year exemption, on top of an already grossly excessive 25-year proposed exemption, creating a tax break that is unprecedented and unjustifiable on any fiscal or programmatic grounds – all at the expense of New York City taxpayers
It will give developers an additional 10-year exemption, on top of an already grossly excessive 25-year proposed exemption, creating a tax break that is unprecedented and unjustifiable on any fiscal or programmatic grounds – all at the expense of New York City taxpayers.
The 421a Exemption – commonly referred to as the Trump Real Estate Tax Exemption because he used the program early and often – expired last year as Albany tried to engineer a deal between REBNY and the trade unions. Now, Albany again wants to pay REBNY to make a deal with the trade unions, in effect, stuffing an extra $10 into REBNY’s pocket to get the group to give 25 cents to the trade unions.
This comes at a time when the City is facing the potential loss of massive federal funds under President Trump, including funds for essential housing programs such as the Section 8 Rent Voucher program. Yet, Albany may be mortgaging away our local tax base, the exact funds we need to support our residents as Federal support is diminished.
This comes at a time when the City is facing the potential loss of massive federal funds under President Trump, including funds for essential housing programs such as the Section 8 Rent Voucher program. Yet, Albany may be mortgaging away our local tax base, the exact funds we need to support our residents as Federal support is diminished.
The 421a proposal on the table – which would allow developers to pay ZERO taxes for the next 35 years – will make 421a appealing to even more real estate developers. The New York City Independent Budget Office projects that, as more developers flock to the enriched program, the cost of 421a to NYC tax payers will jump from $1.4 billion in FY15 to between $5.6 and $7.1 billion over the next 10 years alone. And this is just from the increase in the number of developers subscribing to the program; it does not account for the billions more that 421a will cost since the building will be tax free for a lucrative 35 years – 10 years longer than under Mayor de Blasio’s plan.
This comes at a time when new data concerning building permits and land prices indicates that new construction has adjusted to a housing market without the 421a Exemption and is quickly recovering, and that the existence of 421a itself may have been hindering development in key markets by inflating land prices.