Sold Out

Subsidized housing developers sold out private housing owners this week, joining with tenant activists to petition the State Legislature to end luxury decontrol and eliminate preferential rents—regulations that don’t matter to their programs. Members of the New York State Affordable Housing Association are evidently more concerned with currying favor from officials that fund their programs than with private housing economics.
 
Amazon announced it would bring at least 25,000 jobs to Long Island City with roughly $3 billion in incentives from State and City sources detailed in aMemorandum of Understanding. Part of the deal was to bypass the City Council approval process, which ruffled some political feathers, but others applauded the deal which is expected to produce a net benefit in tax revenues of more than $27 billion and almost 100,000 indirect jobs.
 
Days before the announcement, the City’s Independent Budget Office reported that there was no evidence that the  Commercial Expansion Program, which provides tax incentives for job creation outside Manhattan and is part of the Amazon package, caused any employment growth beyond what would have happened anyway.
 
The Deal of the Century? The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to purchase Grand Central Terminal and Metro North’s Harlem and Hudson line tracks for $35 million from an entity that acquired the property after the Penn Central bankruptcy. There had been a 280 year lease in effect. MTA officials noted that ownership of the northern lines could create new opportunities for trackside development.
 
New York City issued violations last month to 20 individual condo owners who were putting their units on Airbnb for short term rentals. According to news reports this week, all were owners at the Atelier on West 42nd Street, where units are on sale from about $1 million to $85 million.
 
A federal judge, Wednesday, rejected a proposed consent decree calling for an additional $2 billion in funding and appointment of a court monitor to ensure that the New York City Housing Authority deals with lead, mold, vermin, heat violations. He said the requirements for action by the Authority and the powers of the monitor were too vague, and that funds were insufficient. He also noted that, under federal law, HUD was really responsible for taking over NYCHA and cleaning up the mess.
 
Why do politicians do what they do on housing policy? A new interactive map created by the Community Service Society lets you analyze rent regulated and other types of housing by Assembly and Senate district.
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