Damned if you do…

Mayor de Blasio has announced the creation of another Anti-Tenant Harassment Unit targeted a“maintenance harassment.” At the same time, HPD announced a new Partners in Preservation program to fund local community groups to fight tenant displacement from new investments in a neighborhood. Apparently, City policy has returned to the days of Fort Apache, or maybe just bring private housing down to the public housing standard.

On the other hand, the Mayor admitted his ignorance of housing policy in a deposition intended to get him out of testifying in a case accusing the City of fostering segregation with location preferences for affordable housing applicants.

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo called out New York City Housing Authority managers for falsely reporting repairs done when they failed to get access to tenant apartments. Then NYCHA admitted failing to comply with more federal rules than previously disclosed.

A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that 17 loft tenants who haven’t paid rent in 25 years can’t be evicted or forced to take buyouts while their building goes to a foreclosure auction.

Citywide median asking rents for one bedrooms were $2,860 and two bedrooms were $3,220 in June, down 3-4% from the same time last year according to a report by apartment search site Zumper. A neighborhood by neighborhood analysis shows rents fell 7% in the financial district but were up in every area of the Bronx.

Two medical researchers brought a dose of reality to the “lead poisoning” debate in a Times Op-Ed noting that today’s “level of concern” for blood lead levels is one third the average for children nationwide in the 1970s and not poisoning by any standard.

NY Post Columnist Lois Weiss, who served on a 1993 property tax reform commission, reported on the first meeting this week of the fourth such commission since 1989…without much optimism about actual reform.

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