Mayor de Blasio announced Monday that, due to increased tenant legal services, evictions dropped to a record 18,000 in 2018. But, on the same day, Council Speaker/Public Advocate Corey Johnson announced an interactive map of where evictions occur showing 19,970 evictions in 2018. And, looking at the underlying database the Public Advocate map links to, the actual number was 21,811—not a record and consistent with good economic times of the past.
Crain’s reported exclusively this week on a secret deal between the de Blasio administration and Local 32BJ to require prevailing wage rates for building workers in new affordable housing over 30 units, despite the administration’s long opposition to prevailing wages in subsidized housing construction.
The leadership of the City’s housing team continued to jump ship this week with the departure of Commissioner Maria Springer-Torres from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Perhaps that’s why the Mayor turned to Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia to take over as temporary chair of the New York City Housing Authority. Even she expressed surprise at the choice, and was immediately faced with new claims of previously unreported issues of lead in paint and water in Authority projects.
Governor Cuomo also issued a press release, Monday, touting Rent Connect, a new interface for tenants and owners to reach mostly pre-existing online forms at the Division of Housing and Community Renewal for rent overcharge complaints, complaints related to a decrease in services, high rent decontrol, and owner restoration.
DHCR, meanwhile, this week posted a new hard copy form for Nassau and Westchester County tenants to apply for Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemptions.
The deadline for submitting 2017 energy benchmarking data to New York City originally due May 1, 2018 was extended first to December, then February 1st, and now to February 15th due to “technical issues.”
The Building Congress reported that local construction costs rose 5% in 2018, with premium offices running $575 per square foot (highest in the U.S.) and high-rise multi-family running $375 per foot in hard costs (actually less than in San Francisco or Chicago). More details are in the Rider Levett Bucknallconstruction cost report.