School Sites Open for Housing

The New York City Educational Construction Fund has CBRE looking for expressions of interest in developing three current school sites with new schools and anywhere from 203,000 to 806,000 square feet of residential space on top. The locations are 321 East 96th St., 270 West 70thSt.,  and 210 West 61st St. Anyone who envied David Lowenfeld’s presentation at last year’s BuildingsNY Show about building a new school and condos on West 57th St. should check it out.

There are some interesting decisions about Section 8 in Citadel Estates LLC vs. NYC Housing Authority. The State Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling on various City motions to dismiss the case, but said in passing that rent guidelines increases should be accepted as reasonable for rent stabilized apartments with Section 8 tenants. The Court also said that the Housing Authority’s typical failure to issue final determinations on Section 8 cases meant the deadline for filing Article 78 challenges to the Authority’s actions was not tolled.

HUD has issued a new interpretation of the Fair Housing Act that would find liability for a facially neutral practice that has a discriminatory effect. The new rule also creates a three part legal process for determining liability: Under this test, the charging party or plaintiff first bears the burden of proving its prima facie case that a practice results in, or would predictably result in, a discriminatory effect on the basis of a protected characteristic. If the charging party or plaintiff proves a prima facie case, the burden of proof shifts to the respondent or defendant to prove that the challenged practice is necessary to achieve one or more of its substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interests. If the respondent or defendant satisfies this burden, then the charging party or plaintiff may still establish liability by proving that the substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest could be served by a practice that has a less discriminatory effect.

All good deeds may not be punished. The IRS is temporarily allowing rentals financed with exempt facility bonds and low income tax credits to house refugees from Hurricane Sandy without regard to income.

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