$1 Million For 0

New York City will launch a million dollar ad campaign next week promoting the rent freeze on one year stabilized lease renewals, according to this morning’s New York Times. The launch will coincide with Mayor de Blasio’s first Town Hall style meeting since he was elected, which will focus on tenant protection issues.

Crain’s this week focused on very well protected tenants in a feature on attorney David Rozenholc and his efforts to win millions in buyouts for tenant holdouts in development sites. Rozenholc acknowledged that these cases didn’t hinge on legal issues, but delays that cost developers even more money. After one ‘defeat’ on a motion, he explained that “It made no difference. I would have taken the next step and come up with another argument. If [the developer] wins every step of the way, it will take them five years.”

City Comptroller Scott Stringer issued a report, Monday, decrying a rapid increase in severe overcrowding in the City since 2005. One of the more interesting findings was that the proportion of studio apartments with three or more occupants rose from 2.9 percent of the City’s studio apartments in 2005 to 13.5 percent in 2013.

The next day’s Washington Post put crowding in a different perspective, highlighting that many desirable cities had much denser populations and that the ability of cities to house more people was largely a result of government policy choices. According to the report, for example, New York City has a population of 4,500 people per square mile; Paris 9,500; and London 14,500.

One of the key political tools in New York’s efforts to win local support for affordable housing is a neighborhood preference for the right to live in new units. Late last week the City filed papers defending its policies against three black women who filed suit claiming that the practice discriminated against them. HUD has challenged similar policies nationwide, arguing that local preferences could actually lock out minorities who didn’t live in a neighborhood already.

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