No “Right” To Housing Quality

A federal judge has denied a request by New York City Housing Authority tenants to appoint an independent monitor over the Authority’s lead abatement and maintenance efforts, noting that there is no federal law or constitutional right guaranteeing “a certain quality of housing.”

State authority over NYCHA was also in play, as Governor Cuomo held press events and meetings to variously criticize the de Blasio administration, push for an independent board and construction manager to take over responsibility for dealing with lead paint and heating issues, and try, with limited success, to split de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson on the issues.

Johnson, meanwhile, this week proposed spending $2 billion over four years to build senior housing on vacant land in NYCHA developments. It is not clear how this will mesh with Mayor de Blasio’s existing plans for private development of affordable housing on the same sites.

Any new housing construction will be more expensive thanks to tariffs on steel proposed by President Trump. Crain’s New York is reporting a 10-20% increase in steel beam costs even before the tariffs have gone into effect.

New York City is rolling back 421a tax benefits for 1788 properties, ranging from condos to entire buildings, that allegedly never filed final certificates of eligibility. Owners have until May 1st to clean up the record.

About 48% of new Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens leases in February had some sort of landlord concession, according to the latest Elliman Report by Miller Samuel. Owners are getting creative with offers of reduced security deposits, free cable and wi-fi, and incentives for tenants to bring their friends to a building.

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