Corey Johnson, elected Wednesday as the new Speaker of the New York City Council, wants to staff up the Council’s Land Use Division so that instead of members simply vetoing projects in their neighborhoods, the Council can wheel and deal. He has the personal experience, after winning a historic district and reduced project size in exchange for approval of a planned St. John’s Terminal development with Pier 40 air rights a year ago.
Governor Cuomo’s State of the State message this week didn’t offer any new housing programs, but hinted at moving the Red Hook container port, extending a subway from Manhattan, and opening up a massive waterfront development site. He also plans to advance plans for new rail lines on existing Long Island routes that should improve service and encourage nearby development.
As expected, Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio announced that a law requiring HPD to develop a Speculation Watch List went into effect. The department has ten months to develop an online listing of building purchases it considers to be over-financed, resulting in potential tenant harassment, displacement, and gentrification.
While the Mayor urged tenants of private buildings to call 311 with any heat problems during yesterday’s snowstorm, the New York City Housing Authority had about 3,000 apartments without heat, according to press reports.