Legal Aid For Housing Court

The New York City Council yesterday passed legislation providing for free legal representation in housing court for all tenants earning under 200% of federal poverty levels (200% is currently $24,120 for an individual, $49,200 for a family of four). If signed by the Mayor, as expected, the plan would be fully implemented by July 31, 2022, but would apply to public housing tenants as early as this October.

After legal challenges prevented Mayor de Blasio from giving an across the board water rate credit to single family homeowners last year, the Mayor, last Friday, announced expanded credits for low income and senior homeowners and a new Multifamily Water Assistance Program which will give a $250 credit to about 40,000 “affordable” units that have regulatory agreements with the City.

The costs of garbage removal could be rising, or at least shifting, as the City has hired a consultant to explore a “pay as you throw” plan.

The eleventh time was the charm for Westchester County’s effort to end federal scrutiny of its local zoning. HUD has finally accepted a report by consultants that says town zoning that prevents multifamily development in large parts of the county is not racially discriminatory. The County Executive has insisted for years that the issue is economic, not racial, and that the County doesn’t control local zoning in the first place.

The metro New York region will see 27,000 new apartments completed this year, up from over 16,000 in 2016. Long Island City alone will add the most of any neighborhood, 3,700 units, followed by downtown Brooklyn and Jersey City, according to a report by RentCafe this week.

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