4/16/18: NYC Relaunches Innovative Industrial Developer Fund Over the course of the past several months, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) worked with stakeholders and agency counterparts to strengthen elements of the important and innovative Industrial Developer Fund (IDF). The result is a relaunched fund that seeks to streamline and expedite the awards’ process while also quantifying quality job creation and affordability benefits for the City of New York. With this important move, the City of New York smartly reaffirms its commitment to mission-driven industrial development as an important new strategy for equitable economic development. Today’s release of two Requests for Expressions of Interest (RFEIs) is based on lessons learned from the fund’s first award to Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center and year one stakeholder input.
4/12/18: Community Power and the Jerome Avenue Rezoning The Jerome Avenue rezoning passed the City Council at the end of March, despite widespread community opposition to the very end. 92 blocks of Jerome Avenue and some cross streets have now been rezoned from primarily auto uses and manufacturing to high density residential districts. In addition, the de Blasio administration and City Council have shared a list of commitments secured for the neighborhood as part of the rezoning.
4/5/18: The CRA Modernization Recommendations by Treasury Department Are Good, Bad, and Yet-to-be-Seen On April 3rd, the U.S. Department of Treasury released its long-awaited set of recommendations to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) believes that the Treasury Department document has the potential to lay the ground work for a meaningful dialogue to address some areas of commonly-held concern about the CRA, and we are cautiously optimistic that the recommendations can lead to a productive outcome. But, we have some concerns, and in all cases, the details truly matter.
4/2/18: Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census Is A Scare Tactic ANHD is disappointed and outraged by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision, at the request of the Trump administration, to add a question regarding citizenship status to the 2020 Census.
3/27/18: Help Us Welcome ANHD’s New Board of Directors and Executive Committee! As a membership organization for community-based affordable housing and equitable economic development groups throughout New York City, ANHD relies on our Board of Directors for direction and oversight to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission to support our local member-groups in their work to build equity and justice in their neighborhoods and citywide.
3/22/18: New York City Needs to Stop Negotiating Rezonings from an Uneven Playing Field At a City Council hearing last week, City Planning Director Marisa Lago explained that the Department of City Planning (DCP) only attempts a neighborhood rezoning when the community or a councilmember expresses “interest.” In that hearing, DCP came under fire from some councilmembers for concentrating their neighborhood rezoning efforts disproportionately in low-income communities of color, as Crain’s reported on Monday.
3/19/18: Six Lessons for Cultivating Leadership of Color in the Community Organizing Movement Non-profit organizing institutions have long struggled with the fact that their leadership is disproportionately white and middle class. We all know that our organizing will ultimately be more effective and more grounded in a true commitment to justice, if the primary actors are directly impacted people, those who come from the marginalized communities in which we work. Yet, for many reasons, groups in the Community Development movement too often fail to achieve this.
3/16/18: 10 Years After the Housing Crisis: Have We Learned Nothing? ANHD is extremely disappointed in the U.S. Senate for rolling back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly referred to as “Dodd Frank.” The Senate passed S.2155, which removes key financial safeguards and transparency regulations designed to prevent the kind of financial collapse and damage the U.S. experienced just a decade ago.
3/15/18: New Program Begins Shifting Power Back to Commercial Tenants Today, community groups, legal service providers, and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) launched the Commercial Lease Assistance Program, a new effort to address the power imbalance between commercial tenants and the landlords who exploit them by providing small businesses with legal services on leasing. The new program serves as a crucial extension of the policy advanced by United for Small Business NYC (USBNYC), the Commercial Tenant Anti-Harassment Law. USBNYC members Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, Chhaya CDC, Cooper Square Committee, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC), Urban Justice Center, and Volunteers of Legal Servicewill work alongside African Communities Together and Pan-African Community Development Initiative to connect small business owners with legal service providers who can inform them of their rights.
3/7/18: Housing Vacancy Survey Shows New York City Is in The Midst of An Affordability Emergency The City released its initial findings for the 2017 Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS) this week, which is conducted every three years to comply with rent regulation laws. This rich data and research resource gives us the only comprehensive look at New York City’s housing market and building conditions. We already knew New York City was in the midst of an affordability emergency, but the initial 2017 HVS findings raise serious new concerns about the direction of our housing market and affordability trends.
3/1/18: Community Asks Who Benefits from Staten Island Rezoning Yesterday afternoon, members of Staten Island’s Housing Dignity Coalition (HDC) rallied on the steps of City Hall to demand deeper affordability for the proposed rezoning of Bay Street on the North Shore. Local residents and faith leaders explained why this rezoning will not serve the pressing needs of the community and called for a more inclusive plan that truly matches the incomes of families and households currently living in the area.
2/16/18: What do the HUD Cuts in the Trump Budget Mean for Communities? Earlier this week, Trump proposed a federal budget that would devastate low- and moderate-income communities across the country, including in New York State. Trump’s proposals for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) include both budget cuts and rule changes that would increase housing cost burdens on many of the poorest New Yorkers, while continuing disinvestment in public housing, reducing Section 8 voucher availability, and eviscerating basic Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) functions like code enforcement.
2/7/18: It’s Up to the City Council to Make the Jerome Avenue Rezoning Right Today the City Council held their public hearing on the Jerome Avenue rezoning, and despite the weather, community members came out in force to make their voices heard. The Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision held a press conference on the steps of City Hall to start the day, and coalition members and local residents gave testimony in the Council Chamber until late into the afternoon.
1/30/18: Gentrification Has Always Been About More Than Housing New York is experiencing growing pains. It’s quickly changing and neighborhoods with strong identities and histories are melding into the same glass-towered landscape that reigns throughout the City, rendering them unrecognizable. In last week’s New York Times Magazine, Willy Staley explores the impact of gentrification beyond the ongoing and pressing conversation about its impact on housing affordability.
1/23/18: “The Case for The Subway” Is Also a Case for Shared Public Benefit It’s been hard to ignore the state of New York City’s subway of late, both in the news and in our daily (painful) existence. Though the exact path to improvement varies there is an understanding that more public investment is needed to fix the problem – a case that was laid out persuasively in Jonathan Mahler’s recent New York Times Magazine article, “The Case for the Subway.” Since Governor Cuomo has rolled out his budget and Andy Byford has started his new job as President of NYC Transit, it’s worth taking a moment to revisit Mahler’s piece and to specifically highlight a vital point it makes: Public actions, like the subway, often help make some people very, very wealthy. And it is imperative that the public should benefit more directly from that wealth.
1/18/18: Community Demands Scope of Jerome Rezoning Be Reduced, As City Moves Proposal Forward On Wednesday morning the City Planning Commission (CPC) voted to approve the proposed rezoning of Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. As the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) has highlighted throughout this process, this rezoning continues to move forward despite consistent and clear demands from the community that the City reconsider and adjust. Yet with CPC approval of the rezoning, only a final vote by the City Council remains to determine its fate. The Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision is urging the Council to reduce the scale of the Jerome Avenue rezoning by half – from roughly 4,000 to 2,000 projected units. Coalition members were at the CPC vote on Wednesday to express their disapproval and make their voices heard. Here’s why they’re concerned and why they’re pushing for the rezoning to be reduced.
1/17/18: Manufacturing Matters: Urban Manufacturing Accelerator Fund Enhances NYC’s Position as Industrial Innovator In New York City, economic development is a crucial equity challenge, an important policy challenge, and an essential community development challenge. To address growing inequality, we need to think about economic development in a bold and fearless way—one that supports economic opportunity for all communities, emphasizing the quality of the jobs created and the needs of New York City residents.
1/12/18: Amid Racist Comments, Trump Rolls Back Key Fair Housing Rule Before MLK Weekend It has been widely reported that yesterday Trump made racist and disparaging comments about Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. It is important we recognize that these appalling comments are accompanied by destructive policy changes that are devastating our communities.
1/11/18: ANHD Releases New District-Level Tenant Displacement Risk Tracking Tool The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) is excited to release the next phase of our Displacement Alert Project (DAP): DAP District Reports. DAP Reports provide monthly updates on harassment and displacement risk in rent stabilized buildings across New York City’s 59 community districts. The reports are a crucial new tool for grassroots groups, tenant organizers, community members, and elected officials.
12/18/17: Advocates Celebrate Council’s Fulfillment of Key Industrial Action Plan Promises Today, the Industrial Jobs Coalition joined with City Council members to celebrate the upcoming passage of zoning protections for the City’s 21 Industrial Business Zones (IBZs). These protections, meant to clamp down on competing non-industrial uses and ensure space for good-paying jobs, create the foundation for broader zoning reforms. The Coalition, having advocated for this crucial protection as a part of the Mayor’s 2015 Industrial Action Plan, thanked members of the Council who led the charge through the land use review process.
12/14/17: Council Small Business Report Includes Key Provisions of USBNYC Platform The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) and United for Small Business NYC (USBNYC) applaud City Council on the release of their 2017 report, Planning for Retail Diversity: Supporting NYC’s Neighborhood Businesses. The report provides a timely and broad analysis of issues faced by independent retailers across the five boroughs and offers a robust template of policy solutions and recommendations to address these problems. It is the first time the Administration has provided a detailed platform to address the crisis of retail displacement in New York City, an ongoing issue that impacts small businesses and commercial corridors citywide.
12/11/17: This is What a Bad Loan Looks Like Tenants, community advocates and policy makers have been ringing the alarm bell about bad mortgage lending in mutlifamily buildings. Over the past few years, we have opened up an important dialogue with regulators and banks who understand that bad lending is a direct threat to our neighborhoods. Based on our research and analysis, we define “bad lending” as mortgages that may be speculative because they appear to be underwritten based on the assumption that rent-regulated tenants paying modest rents will leave at an unusually high rate. We also define “bad lending” as loans to developers with a documented history of harassment and displacement of tenants as a business model.
12/7/17: Cypress Hills LDC Gets at The Heart of The Community Reinvestment Act: Local Banks Must Reinvest Locally On December 1st, the East Brooklyn Reinvestment Committee, a group of East New York activists and Board and Staff members of the Cypress Hills LDC (CHLDC) held their annual Bank Reinvestment Forum. This powerful forum really gets at the heart of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which requires banks to reinvest and lend equitably in the local areas where they do business – it doesn’t get any more local than this. This forum has historically focused on the five banks in the Cypress Hills / City Line area of Brooklyn: M&T, Chase, Citibank, Capital One, and City National of NJ (which has since closed). In recent years, it has expanded to include banks throughout Brooklyn Community District 5, which also includes Bank of America and HSBC.
12/5/17: Taking Care of Business: Understanding Commercial Displacement in New York City New York City’s small businesses are in the midst of a displacement crisis. As stores shutter and communities lose long-time institutions, the mechanisms and realities of this crisis are left under-examined. The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) analyzed the economic vitality of small businesses across the city, neighborhood-by-neighborhood.
11/30/17: What Would the Trump Tax Bill Mean for NYC Affordable Housing? Although Trump has broken more norms than we thought possible since his election, the tenets of affordable housing development in New York City have remained unscathed and stable for the past year, until now.
11/30/17: VICTORY: City Council to Pass Certificate of No Harassment Legislation The Coalition Against Tenant Harassment is thrilled that Certificate of No Harassment (CONH) legislation passed in City Council today. An expansion of CONH beyond the Clinton Special District has been a goal in numerous community campaigns for decades, and our coalition in particular has organized and advocated for the past several years to make this program a reality.
11/29/17: Community Perspective: Why Folks Are Saying No to the Jerome Avenue Rezoning The proposed rezoning of Jerome Avenue takes a step forward with the City Planning Commission hearing taking place today. This hearing comes as community residents continue to express serious concerns that their voices have not been truly heard in the rezoning process or their feedback meaningfully incorporated by the City.
11/28/17: Why Is a Private Developer Trying to Walk Away with This Affordable Building? A lawsuit currently being heard in State Supreme Court tells a troubling story for the tenants of a small affordable building in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx, and a troubling story for local housing policy.
11/22/17: Even On Small Business Saturday, the City is a Tough Place for Neighborhood Businesses It’s that time of year again, with late November bringing the start of the most lucrative time of year for many businesses of all sizes. In an effort to bring some of these economic windfalls to local communities and main streets, Small Business Saturday has become a national phenomenon. As New York’s small businesses face increased displacement pressures, it’s a good time to look at what small businesses mean for New York City’s economy and how this varies citywide.
11/2/17: City Steps Back from their Industrial Action Plan Almost two years to the day since Mayor de Blasio announced his historic Industrial Action Plan, the City seems to be stepping back from their plan. Yesterday, the City Planning Commission voted on a proposal to mix manufacturing and self-storage in core industrial areas. Rather than vote on the City’s own original proposal to limit self-storage, which was supported by the majority of community boards and industrial service providers, the Department of City Planning (DCP) put forward an amended proposal that will continue the self-storage industry’s as-of-right access to our core industrial areas. As the final stop in Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the City Council has the power to make alterations and corrections to a proposal before the text is enacted.
11/1/17: HPD Takes Important Step Forward for “Permanent Affordability” New York City took an unannounced, but important step towards making the affordable housing it finances “permanently affordability.” In the most recent round of Request for Proposals (RFPs) issued by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the City created a new regulatory requirement that will allow HPD to ensure that all affordable housing built on city-owned land through a Request for Proposals process will keep the affordability benefit in perpetuity.
10/31/17: Cypress Hills Small Businesses Demand City Action Over Awning Fines Small businesses along the Fulton Street commercial corridor in Brooklyn came out in force last week to urge City attention at resolving challenges to running their businesses. The Cypress Hills Business Partners Merchant Association and local business owners highlighted the heavy fines associated with awning violations, which has led some shopkeepers to face fines of as much as $20,000. These fines, in addition to increasing rents and a lack of commercial protections, make it harder for businesses to afford their space and stay open. Most of the businesses that have been targeted are immigrant owned. Along with Councilmember Espinal and State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, immigrant business owners urged the City to intervene and alleviate this pressure.
10/25/17: What Makes an Effective Philanthropic Collaborative? Change Capital Fund Turns 20-Years-Old Change Capital Fund, gearing up for its 20th year, has proven to be an unusually effective philanthropic collaborative. The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) has long believed that philanthropy – both by banks and private foundations – should focus much of their giving at the local level to neighborhood-based organizations that are effectively addressing problems and building grassroots capacity for greater change. We also believe that sometimes philanthropy should have a strategic theory of how targeted funding can have a larger impact beyond any individual grant.
10/23/17: New ANHD White Paper: Why is Non-Bank Lending Highest in Communities of Color? New York is a city of renters, but nearly a third of New Yorkers own their own homes. The stock of 2-4 family homes provides an important source of affordable rental housing in many neighborhoods. Secure and affordable homeownership has long been recognized as an important way for people to build wealth and move into the middle class. Yet, lower-income people and people of color have consistently been locked out of the housing market or targeted with harmful lending products and practices. In the years since the 2007 economic crisis, low- and moderate-income (LMI) New Yorkers and people of color have faced significant barriers to homeownership in New York City.
10/17/17: New ANHD White Paper: The For-Profitization of Affordable Housing Development and the de Blasio Plan Non-profit affordable housing developers have played a key role in New York City housing plans since the beginning of the modern, city-backed affordable housing model. The role of for-profit developers has grown over the years, leaving community development practitioners to question whether affordable housing development has become overly reliant on for-profit developers and whether the level of public benefit created by these projects has diminished.
10/12/17: How are Seniors Served by the Mayor’s Housing Plan? Communities are paying close attention these days to exactly what kind of affordable housing is being promised to their neighborhood because they want to ensure that the housing is really meeting the greatest local and city need. Over the last several weeks, ANHD has published analyses of the affordability levels of units created under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan and how they compare to the need of New York City residents.
9/28/17: Is the Mayor’s Housing Plan Serving the Greatest Need? By Borough Two weeks ago, ANHD put out an infographic comparing the affordable housing created and preserved under the de Blasio administration’s Housing New York Plan to the real needs of New York City’s residents. Below, we continue our analysis with a borough-by-borough breakdown comparing the share of each borough’s rent burdened population at each income level to the percentage of Housing New York units serving them.
9/13/17: Bodegas, Not Brodegas #StopBrodega The recently reported business idea for Bodega (hereafter referred to as Brodega), a glorified vending machine aiming to replace the venerable New York institution, is not a bodega at all; it’s an engine for displacing hardworking business owners.
9/13/17: How Does Housing New York Measure Up To New Yorkers’ Needs? In July, the de Blasio administration released its annual report on progress made towards the target numbers of affordable units created and preserved as laid out in the Housing New York Plan. Tomorrow, the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings will hold an HPD oversight hearing which look at the tools the City uses to create and preserve affordable housing. But fundamentally, we need to ask: is the Housing New York Plan designed to meet the housing needs of New York City?
9/8/17: Better Small Business Lending Requires Better Data Stories and studies have long demonstrated disparities in small business lending, particularly for minority- and women-owned businesses, but we lack the data to quantify these disparities and hold lenders accountable. Small business data must be made public.
8/25/17: East Harlem Stakeholders Demand No Vote at CPC Rezoning Hearing On Wednesday afternoon, at a packed venue, the City Planning Commission (CPC) held their public hearing on the proposed East Harlem rezoning. The CPC hearing comes after both Community Board 11 and Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough President, voted no on the proposed rezoning, and the bulk of the testimony heard from the East Harlem community on Wednesday strongly encouraged the CPC to do the same.
8/22/17: The City’s Decision to Begin Jerome Avenue Rezoning Public Review Process After Community Opposition March Highlights the Significant Work Ahead Yesterday afternoon the City Planning Commission kicked off the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for the City’s proposed Jerome Avenue rezoning, beginning the seven-month public review process that will culminate in a binding vote by the City Council. Yet the decision to start ULURP came just days after the community marched in opposition, demanding that the City immediately stop the rezoning from moving forward until it has firm commitments in place to address displacement, deep affordability, and labor standard concerns. The fact that the City chose to start ULURP regardless highlights the significant work they have ahead to meet the neighborhood’s vision.
8/17/17: The Updated AMI Cheat Sheet is Better Than Ever! Our Area Median Income (AMI) Cheat Sheet was so helpful that the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) was contacted by nearly 10 jurisdictions outside of New York State who wanted to make their own local versions. Since the AMI Cheat Sheet has gone from a handy dandy desk guide to a tool being used in offices, trainings, and community meetings throughout the City – and across the country – we’ve made some updates to both the methodology and the layout.
8/15/17: How to Not End Up on the Public Advocate’s “The Money Behind the Worst Landlords” List Today, Public Advocate Letitia James released The Money Behind the Worst Landlords where she is calling on the banks loaning money to the landlords on her annual Worst Landlord List to commit to using their financial influence to hold landlords accountable, demand repairs to dangerous buildings, and stop lending to those who are forcing tenants out with underhanded or illegal tactics.
8/9/17: East New York Coalition Calls for Community Benefits or No Development As the first neighborhood rezoning under the de Blasio Administration, the Coalition for Community Advancement: Progress for East New York has presented communities with a first look at how to approach the City on issues of displacement, affordability, and development. Tomorrow, their efforts will focus on ensuring community benefits are intrinsically part of new neighborhood developments.
8/3/17: HPD Takes Important Step Towards Responsible Stewardship of Public Land With Announcement of CLT Funding Last week, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced that four New York City groups will receive $1.65 million in funding to assist in the development, expansion, and education of community land trusts. While a modest sum, the move demonstrates a step from the City to support creative approaches to strengthening community control of public land resources. Many of ANHD’s groups and community members will directly benefit from this endeavor and it demonstrates the City’s commitment to exploring new programs to ensure that public land continues to be used for public interest purposes in perpetuity.
7/21/17: Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Graduates of the Center for Neighborhood Leadership Apprenticeship Program! Recently, we celebrated the graduation of a phenomenal class of organizing apprentices with the Center for Neighborhood Leadership (CNL). We are very proud of the graduates and all they have accomplished in the past 10 months!
7/17/17: As More and More Small Businesses Are Forced To Close, New York City Loses Its Heart and Soul Another of New York’s beloved eating establishments has closed down. Cup and Saucer, a staple on the Lower East Side for thirty years, was forced to shutter its gates for the last time as a result of a massive $7,600 monthly increase in rent*.
7/14/17: Thousands of Tenants March on Washington to Protest HUD Budget Cuts “When they say cut back, we say fight back… Cut Back! Fight Back!” On Wednesday, July 12th, thousands of tenants from across the U.S. gathered in Washington, D.C. for a day of action protesting the proposed $7.4 billion funding cut to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). With their “Carson’s Cuts Kill” signs, the crowd chanted, “Fight, fight, fight, housing is a right!” as they gathered for a Town Hall to start the day. U.S. Senate and House Representatives – including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York – spoke to the crowd, along with public housing residents, renters, and homeowners, who told stories of their own struggles against eviction.
7/6/17: WNYC Story on How Landlords Push Out Tenants for Profit Through Predatory Equity Tenant harassment and displacement as a business strategy threatens New York City’s rent-regulated housing stock, one of our most important sources of affordable housing. New York City has over one million rent-regulated units, nearly half of all rental units.
7/6/17: Tenants of the Bronx and UWS Stand Up For Their Rights and Call For a Certificate of No Harassment Last week, two different local protest actions once again highlighted the harassment tactics that are displacing low-income tenants in neighborhoods across the city.
6/29/17: New Map of Preferential Rents Shows the Displacement Risk for Rezoning Neighborhoods and Low Income Communities City-wide Last week, ProPublica launched a new tool mapping the number of rent stabilized apartments with preferential rents by zip code, throughout New York City. The results are eye-opening. Almost a third of all rent stabilized apartments in New York currently have preferential rents: over 250,000 units citywide.
6/14/17: Advocates Launch Small Business Anti-Displacement Platform Today, advocates launched the platform for United for Small Business NYC (USBnyc), a coalition of community organizations across New York City fighting to protect New York’s small businesses and non-residential tenants from the threat of displacement, with particular focus on owner-operated, low-income, minority-run businesses that serve low-income and minority communities. As part of their platform launch, USBnyc outlined recommendations to prevent small business displacement through a variety of policy and legislative solutions. In the coming months, the coalition will engage community organizations, commercial corridors, and elected officials to fight back against commercial displacement together.
6/14/17: A Step Forward to Slow the Double Dip of 421-a / Inclusionary Housing Benefits Yesterday’s The Real Deal article reported that the City is considering limitations on the how the 421-a developer’s tax break and the inclusionary housing program commingle. Currently, residential developers who receive the overly generous 421-a tax break in very high-density (R10) sites count can transfer air rights to other very high density developments nearby and also receive extra space for every square foot of affordable housing built.
6/6/17: One Year After Rezoning, East New York and Cypress Hills Residents Gather to Keep Up the Fight East New York and Cypress Hills residents came out this past Saturday for a Community Assembly hosted by the Coalition for Community Advancement, seeking to inform and engage community members one year out from a neighborhood-wide rezoning. The rezoning of East New York – approved in April, 2016 – was the first, and to date only, neighborhood rezoning to pass as part of the de Blasio administration’s Housing New York Plan. But as impassioned speakers and community leaders reminded the crowd throughout the day, the work of the local community in this process is far from done.
6/1/17: Industrial Jobs Coalition Fact Sheet: Why does the proposed self-storage special permit matter? City Supports Quality Jobs with New Land Use Action, but Self Storage Industry Fights Back – Here’s Why We Have To Win The City recently certified a land-use proposal to limit self-storage development in core industrial areas. This step forward is a significant victory for City Council members and community groups that care about a progressive industrial policy that promotes quality jobs and equitable economic development. But the self-storage industry association is pushing back, and we have to make sure that we keep the momentum to win this important step forward.
5/24/17: The “Bad Boy” Carveout What the Attorney General’s Court Filing Says About Signature Bank, Madison Realty Capital, and the Business of Tenant Harassment There has been a growing drumbeat of public criticism of tenant harassment in buildings with mortgage loans from Signature Bank, culminating last month in a tenant picket in front of Signature Banks’s Annual Investors Conference. Tenants have been telling the bank and the media that the harassment they are experiencing is both severe and intentional and that the bank should be aware of the damage their lending is enabling.
5/22/17: CASA’s New White Paper Gets to the Heart of The Displacement Debate Last week, Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) released a powerful new white paper, “Resisting Displacement in the Southwest Bronx.” Drawing on research, their own organizing experience and the experience of tenants in the neighborhood, the paper lays out the myriad displacement pressures Bronx residents face, the ways in which a rezoning would exacerbate those pressures and tangible solutions that must be put in place to alleviate them.
5/17/17: East Harlem Residents Push Back on City Rezoning Plan at Packed Community Board Hearing A crowd overflowed the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College last night for the Community Board 11 Land Use Committee’s public hearing on the proposed East Harlem neighborhood rezoning. This is the first public testimony of the seven-month public review process, the first chance for the community to respond publicly to the City’s plans and, most importantly, a chance for the City to show whether it is in fact adopting a community-based planning approach to rezonings.
5/4/17: Just in time for Spring! The AMI Cheat Sheet 2017 Edition A lot of people are talking about affordable housing policy these days. And you can’t have a conversation about affordable housing policy without talking about Area Median Income (AMI) levels. But what do those AMI levels actually mean? 30% of AMI, 60% of AMI, 120 of AMI%? Throwing those numbers around doesn’t make things clear for most people, unless you can translate that number into the rents and incomes everyone understands.
4/20/17: Tenants Take Demands for Responsible Lending to Signature Bank Shareholders Meeting This morning, tenants from 10 community organizations and their allies, including Senator Brad Hoylman, Senator Gustavo Rivera, and a representative from Public Advocate Leticia James’s office filled the sidewalk with a picket line outside of Signature Bank’s annual shareholders meeting in Manhattan. At the rally, the tenants and elected officials tried to hand-deliver a letter to the board of directors to demand responsible lending practices to protect their rights and health, and preserve our stock of affordable rent-regulated housing.
4/8/17: Albany Agrees to Resurrect the 421-a Tax Exemption Albany has come to an agreement on that includes resurrecting the 421-a real estate tax exemption, with a vote on the full State budget expected today. There is no acceptable reason that everyone should be expected to pay their taxes, except for luxury real estate developers. Taxpayers and tenants should be outraged.
3/30/17: More Evidence That 421-a Can Wait The important debate around the 421-a tax exemption may come to a head in Albany by Friday, but an article in yesterday’s Crain’s New York makes clear that new development is moving ahead either way, a fact that should change the debate.
3/23/17: Dump Trump’s unaffordable N.Y. real estate tax break, aka 421-a If you want to know who really benefits from the real estate tax abatement known as 421-a, look no further than a lawsuit filed by then-developer Donald Trump 36 years ago, which to this day inflicts this unaffordable burden on New York City, costing $1.3 billion this year alone in foregone property taxes. A New York Daily News Piece by Brooklyn Assemblywoman Latrice Walker and Brooklyn State Senator Kevin Parker.
3/7/17: The First Attack on Public Housing The Trump budget cuts to New York City have begun, as the Wall Street Journal today announced a sudden $35 million cut to New York City Public Housing. This could be the first of far more severe cuts to come, as New York City’s budget and the needs of our most vulnerable residents are targeted.
2/21/17: Bad Landlord, Bad Lending Continued Signature Bank continues to finance known bad-actor landlord Ved Parkash
2/16/17: Focus on Economic Issues Is Necessary To Citywide Equity ANHD applauds Mayor de Blasio’s call for more good jobs in the City in this year’s State of the City address.
2/13/17: What Happened To Housing Development When 421a Was Suspended? An ANHD White Paper, February 2017 The real estate industry has long claimed that the 421a tax exemption is absolutely necessary to get new rental housing built in our City and that this justifies the enormous cost of the program. But new data and recent reports from policy experts show this is not true. In fact, the 421a exemption likely has been making new housing development more difficult all along by inflating land prices.
2/8/17: Understanding REBNY’s New 421-a Tax Exemption Proposal In January 2017, a revised 421-a Tax Exemption, rebranded and given the title “The Affordable New York Housing Program,” was introduced and inserted into the proposed FY18 New York State budget. This version of the 421-a Tax Exemption is essentially an expanded and amended version of the expired June 2015 exemption that passed the legislature but with modifications intended to resolve the conflict created from a trade union wage provision that was inserted at the last minute, which subsequently led to legal complications and suspension of the exemption.
2/2/17: USBNYC and ANHD Support Yemeni and Muslim Small Business Strike United for Small Business NYC (USBNYC), a coalition convened by ANHD, supports Muslim bodega and grocery owners striking today in response to the “Muslim ban” executive order. USBNYC includes community organizations from across New York City fighting to protect New York’s small businesses and non-residential tenants from the threat of displacement, with a particular focus on owner-operated, low-income, minority and immigrant-run businesses that serve low-income, immigrant, and minority communities.
1/19/17: ‘Fight’ Over Zoning Reform Should Be About Jobs, Not Industry Interests Tuesday’s Crain’s story on the expected fight between the self-storage industry and City Hall announces industry efforts to weaken City industrial policy. The article recognizes the delay on crucial land use reforms yet improperly frames the state of current industrial policy. The City’s focus on the industrial and manufacturing sector to advance economic equity is the result of extensive research and assessment on the subject. The Mayor’s 10-Point Industrial Action Plan aims to support the creation and sustainability of good paying industrial jobs by limiting non-industrial uses through zoning reform.
1/17/17: Welcoming the Mayor’s New Housing Economic Development Team Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new commissioner appointments to lead his Housing and Economic Development team. The new commissioners will lead the critical task of shaping the direction of housing, land use, and job growth of NYC neighborhoods for the next phase of the de Blasio Administration.
1/11/17: ANHD Opposes the Nomination of Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of HUD Statement to Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten G. Gillibrand to reject Dr. Carson’s nomination. Dear Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand: The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, Inc. urges you to reject the nomination of Dr. Benjamin Carson for the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
12/13/16: Bad Landlord, Bad Lending Last week, tenants living in a portfolio of 20 buildings in the Lower East Side owned by the notorious landlord Rafael Toledano took to the streets, accompanied by elected officials and a brass marching band, and marched from the headquarters of Madison Realty Capital to Signature Bank to call them out for financing Toledano.
12/13/16: In Memoriam: Yolanda Luz Coca 1956 – 2016, The Heart of Our Movement The ANHD family mourns the loss of Yolanda Luz Coca, who passed away last week after a battle with cancer. Yolanda was a dedicated tenant organizer and an extraordinary person. Profoundly committed to her Catholic faith, Yolanda was the heart and soul of the anti-displacement struggle of her parish at St. Joseph Patron in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
12/8/16: City Announces First Step to Expand Manufacturing Jobs With Innovative Not-For-Profit Industrial Development Fund Mayor de Blasio took an important step towards more equitable economic development policy last year with the creation of the innovative Not-for-Profit Industrial Developer Fund. Today, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced the selection of the first awardee under this model program, and the project demonstrates how the Mayor’s initiative can have an important impact on expanding quality manufacturing jobs.
11/22/16: #EqEDRisks16 Data Snapshot: Small Businesses The holiday season is upon us, which means the start of the most lucrative time of year for many businesses of all sizes. In an effort to bring some of these economic windfalls to local communities and main streets. Small Business Saturday has become a national phenomenon. As New Yorkers get ready to open their wallets for the holiday spending season, it’s a good time to look at what Small Businesses mean for NYC’s economy and how this varies by neighborhoods. As part of How is Economic Opportunity Threatened in Your Neighborhood?, ANHD analyzed the share of people employed by small businesses and the number of small business loans made available in 2015 across all of New York City’s neighborhoods.
11/10/16: Albany Gives Our Budget Away to REBNY as the City Faces Massive Loss of Federal Support The big real estate developers lobbying group, REBNY, announced a proposed new deal today to bring back the controversial 421a Developers Tax Exemption. As ANHD pointed out in a blog last week, the proposal is unconscionable on its face because it will give developers an additional 10-year exemption, on top of an already grossly excessive 25-year proposed exemption, creating a tax break that is unprecedented and unjustifiable on any fiscal or programmatic grounds – all at the expense of New York City taxpayers.
11/10/16: The Work We Begin Tomorrow To The ANHD Community, Words failed many of us Wednesday morning when we woke up to the reality that a nativist, misogynist, racist demagogue had won the Presidency of the United States. I know that we will each be processing this shocking news as individuals, families, organizations, communities, and as a city.
11/3/16: Industrial Action Plan One Year Later: What Has Moved and What Hasn’t On the one-year anniversary of Mayor de Blasio’s unveiling of the Industrial Plan, various critical components of the 10-Point Vision remains unfulfilled. While aspects of the plan have moved forward, others have either seen little progress or gone a different direction than the original intent.
11/2/16: Let’s Lift the Caps on Permits for Street Vendors After 30 years of waiting, many of New York City’s street vendors may finally be able to operate legally. United for Small Business NYC (USBnyc), a working group convened by ANHD, supports lifting the caps on permits for street vendors the proposed Street Vendor Modernization Act.
11/1/16: Defending Access to Banking Means Defending the IDNYC The New York City-issued identification program – “IDNYC” – is a powerful tool meant to bring all New York City residents into the service mainstream and is an important statement of our shared municipal citizenship. Unfortunately, few banks have taken the step of allowing the IDNYC to be used as a primary ID, which has only continued the unnecessary marginalization of many immigrant communities in our city.
10/21/16: Administration Misses Manufacturing Use Group Reform Deadline Almost one year ago, the Administration and the City Council, with the support of many of us in the economic development community, announced the Industrial Action Plan, a ten-point roadmap for strengthening the industrial and manufacturing sector, a growing source of middle-class jobs and entrepreneurial opportunity for New Yorkers in all five boroughs. Unfortunately, the Administration’s public stated October 15th deadline has passed, and the promise of use group reform remains unfulfilled.
10/7/16: Wait, What Impact Does the 421a Developers’ Tax Exemption Actually Have? The 421a Developers’ Tax Exemption is the most important and most expensive New York City tax incentive that most people have never heard of, and has been an underlying fact of real estate development for the past 40 years.
9/30/16: Community Members explained what “OurBronx” means at Jerome Avenue Rezoning Hearing Last night, hundreds of tenants, workers, business owners, and other local community members packed the Department of City Planning (DCP) scoping hearing for the Jerome Avenue Rezoning. Speaker after speaker expressed concerns about how the proposed rezoning would impact existing community members, and voiced skepticism as to whether, a year and a half into the process, the City was taking seriously the community’s concerns.
9/27/16: Dear New York Times Real Estate Section Your front-page article this weekend, with the headline “Finding Washington Heights” and gauzy illustration of a beatific white woman framed in a sea of darker faces, went too far.
9/26/16: City Enacts New Small Business Protections Today commercial tenants experiencing harassment are able to take legal action for the first time, thanks to a new law authored by Councilmember Robert Cornegy. This legislation, supported by ANHD and the United for Small Businesses NYC coalition, is the first step in a long road to creating real, meaningful commercial tenant protections and just part of a much needed, broader toolkit of small business supports.
9/22/16: ANHD Releases Interactive On-Line Data Map That Pinpoints Displacement The tenant displacement crisis is at the center of neighborhood concerns and City policy focus. We cannot allow market forces to price and push out our City’s diverse communities. ANHD today released the Displacement Alert Project Map (the DAP Map) that, for the first time, presents key information in an interactive, easy-to-use map that local activists, service providers and policy makers have long needed.
9/21/16: In Memoriam: David Pagan, a lion of the community development movement The ANHD family mourns the loss of David Pagan, who passed away yesterday after a short illness.
9/7/16: What’s Going On With the Recent Rezoning News? August is usually a quiet time for City policy news, but this past month two zoning and affordable housing struggles made headlines. One was the decision by Upper Manhattan Councilmember Rodriguez to block a vote on the proposed Sherman Plaza housing development, the other was a decision by Queens Councilmember Van Bramer to block a vote on the proposed Barnett Avenue affordable housing development in Sunnyside. The votes made news because they were unexpected, and because affordable housing issues are urgent.
8/9/16: Upcoming “Collision” over BQX Overlooks Existing Manufacturing Land Use Challenges. As Crain’s yesterday noted, the proposed Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) poses serious challenges to the industrial and manufacturing businesses along its potential route. However, the lack of zoning protections for manufacturing-zoned (M-zone) land leaves the future of the sector in jeopardy, regardless of whether or not the BQX moves forward.
8/3/16: Regulators Finalize CRA Guidelines: Strong Emphasis on Economic Development. ANHD congratulates the federal bank regulators for elevating economic development as an important area of banks’ Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations. For the past two years, ANHD has been advocating for the regulators and examiners to place more emphasis on this category and for banks to increase their CRA activity towards equitable economic development.
7/14/16: New Zoning Tool at 25 Kent But Broader Discussion of City Industrial Policy Needed. Today, the Council will vote on a new model of mixed industrial / commercial development in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone. The project, 25 Kent Avenue, is the first to utilize the Industrial Business Incentive Area (IBIA) zoning tool, which combines required light manufacturing uses in exchange for office and commercial development.
6/26/16: NYS 421a Plan: More $ For Developers… Again. NY Senate 421a Proposal: More $ for Developers, Less for Residents: New ANHD Analysis Shows Just How Much 421a Costs NYers
6/23/16: ANHD Releases New Bank Report 2015. ANHD Releases its annual New Bank report, analyzing how banks meet neighborhood credit needs and the local impact of the Community Reinvestment Act.
6/22/16: This Is What #EndDisplacement Looks Like. Tenant harassment is a growing crisis as more and more neighborhoods face a rising tide of speculative investment and active displacement pressure.
6/21/16: Council Takes First Step to Protect Small Businesses – More Protections Needed.The City Council took an important first step today to protect New York City’s small businesses and passed Intro 851 to curtail harassment of commercial tenants.
6/17/16: ANHD Statement on the State Housing Funding MOU. The New York State budget passed on April 1st made a historic $2 billion funding commitment to take on the state’s worsening affordable housing and homeless crisis – pending an agreement among our representatives in Albany to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for this funding. With the MOU at a standstill, an advance release is being considered of $150 million. ANHD states that a small, short-term measure would be a mistake that may prolong the process of negotiating a final agreement for the full $2 billion.
6/16/16: What a Landlord Attorney’s Advice Reveals About Displacement. Recent press shared an attorney ‘s advice to landlords on how to actively and effectively pursue an agenda to get rent-regulated, low-rent tenants to move out. While the materials explicitly advise against harassment – they show that finding ways to get tenants to move out is an increasingly standard business model. Both tenants and the City need effective tools – such as the Certificate of No Harassment – that change the harassment = profits equation for landlords.
6/14/16: NY Senate 421a Proposal: More $ for Developers, Less for Residents: On June 14, new 421a legislation was introduced in the NY Senate that gives away more to real estate developers, requires less affordability, and leaves tax payers footing an even bigger bill.
5/26/16: ANHD’s 2016 At-Risk Affordable Housing Chart: Each year, this “risk chart” chart takes a variety of indicators of threats to affordable housing and lays them out at a community-district level in a user-friendly format.
5/25/16: New Industrial Zoning Model Passes City Planning Commission, but Questions Remain. The City Planning Commission today voted to approve the amended application for a mixed industrial-commercial development at 25 Kent Avenue. But the amendments include a scaling back of the 14 block Enhanced Business Area (EBA) to a 1 block Industrial Business Incentive Area (IBIA) and other new requirements.
5/20/16: Announcing the Morgan Stanley / ANHD Community Development Fellowship Class of 2016/2017: The ANHD / Morgan Stanley Community Development Fellowship to date has a 100% employment success rate. Winning host groups for the fifth cycle in 2016/17 are: Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Cooper Square Committee, Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen Center, Northfield Community Local Development Corp., Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, Chhaya Commmunity Development Corp., IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Fifth Avenue Committee.
5/11/16: Can We Stop Landlords Like Steve Croman? New York City has an obligation to make sure that harassment doesn’t pay. A Certificate of No Harassment law would do just that.
5/10/16: Problems Remain with City’s Revised Industrial Re-Zoning Proposal. The City’s plan to rezone 14 blocks of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone has been scaled back to 1 block – the development site at 25 Kent Ave and the proposed zoning text amendment’s mixed used tool, the Enhanced Business Area (EBA), falls short of creating the space or opportunities necessary for industrial and manufacturing businesses to grow and create middle class jobs that New Yorkers need.
4/20/16: City Council Votes to Rezone East New York and Cypress Hills. Today, the City Council voted to rezone East New York and Cypress Hills, the culmination of a years-long process . As the first of 15 neighborhood rezonings anticipated under the de Blasio Administration, both the process and outcomes of the East New York rezoning provide lessons for residents and community organizations throughout the city.
4/7/16:Pay Gap Tells Tale of Two Techs. ANHD’s research found a major pay gap in the tech industry, with people of color earning as little as half as their white counterparts. CLICK HERE for white paper.
4/1/16: Op-Ed on Importance of New Anti-Displacement Legislation. Today’s op-ed in Gotham Gazette emphasizes the importance of passing legislation to create a new, citywide Certificate of No Harassment program. Co-authored by ANHD’s Benjamin Dulchin and Make the Road NY’s Javier Valdes, the op-ed states that creating a citywide Certificate of No Harassment program would prevent landlords with a history of harassment from accessing the renovation permits they need to bring in higher paying tenants.
3/31/16: East New York Zoning Vote Approaches. As early as next week, the City Council Land Use Committee is expected to vote on the rezoning plan for East New York/Cypress Hills, bringing the first of the 15 neighborhood plans proposed by the City closer to becoming a reality. The final outcome of this first neighborhood rezoning under the de Blasio administration will have major implications for the East New York/Cypress Hills community and for the City as a whole.
3/28/16: Local Government Should Decide How Housing $ Is Spent. The recent New York State Executive Budget proposed two changes that would have the unintended effect of undermining effective affordable housing production by creating a new level of decision-making oversight for one of the main tools used to finance affordable housing development.
3/15/16: ANHD Helps Win Deeper Affordability in Announced Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Policy. City Council’s vote gave NYC hte strongest Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program in the US – but the fight for even deeper affordability must continue. Click HERE for details on the new MIH plan.
3/14/16: ANHD Statement on Announced Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Policy. The newly announced MIH plan is the strongest Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program in the county, not only requiring that affordable housing be built in any area where significant zoning density is added, but also allowing communities to require affordable housing at 40% of Area Median Income, which is significantly more affordable than any other policy in the country. Howver, ANHD continues to advocate for deeper affordability for lower AMIs.
3/12/16: Making Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Truly Affordable. ANHD and our community groups believe that an analysis of the deeper affordability scenarios shows that a mix of incomes, including rents levels down to 30% of AMI, can responsibly achieve the development goals of the Administration while at the same time meeting the equity concerns of the community.
3/9/16: Who Gets Left Out When We Don’t Serve 30% AMI? If the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) plan doesn’t serve 30% AMI, MIH will leave out nearly 30% of New Yorkers. ANHD’s new map – WHO GETS LEFT OUT, WHEN WE DON’T SERVE 30% AMI?-shows the areas where MIH serving below 40% AMI is most critical for the local residents. Below are the maximum incomes and hourly wages that each AMI level can serve as reported in the City’s study:
3/8/16: New White Paper on Zoning for Industrial Jobs. ANHD’s newest white paper, Enhanced Business Areas and 25 Kent, unpacks the details of the Enhanced Business Area tool. CLICK here to download white paper.
3/8/16: City Launches Innovative Financing Program to Expand Quality “Industrial Jobs with Non- Profit Developers. Now, the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has released an important new tool to achieve this vision by issuing a Request for Proposals for a Not-for-Profit Industrial Developer Fund.
3/7/16: ANHD Applauds Strong CRA Plan in New York Community Bank / Astoria Bank Merger. New York Community Bank submitted a CRA Plan to bank regulators as part of its merger and acquisition plan, lsting specific community benefits and accountability for loans to landlords.
3/4/16: Supporting Zoning for Quality and Affordability: ANHD supports the Mayor’s current proposal, Zoning for Quality and Affordabiltiy (ZQA) because is encourages affordable and senior developments, while also preserving livable mixed-use communities.
3/2/16: Statement on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. ANHD, with Make the Road NY and New York Communities for Change calls on City Council to withhold its support from the current Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) proposal because the “affordable” units would be too expensive for half of all New Yorkers – most of whom are in rezoned neighborhoods and have annual incomes below 40%AMI.
2/22/16: Who is Lending and Who is Getting Loans? Trends in 1-4 Family Lending in New York City. ANHD’s newest white paper shows that lower-income New Yorkers of color are increasingly being locked out of the housing market. Click HERE for ANHD’s Jaime Weisberg’s full report.
2/22/16: Certificate of No Harassment Bill Takes on Tenant Displacement. A model of this mechanism exists in the zoning text for the Special Clinton District on Manhattan’s West Side, where a Certificate of No Harassment requirement for Department of Buildings permits has helped to prevent the displacement of long-term residents and preserve a genuinely mixed-income community in an area that could easily have been completely overtaken by luxury development.
2/18/16: Jay Small – In Memoriam. Jay Small, ANHD’s Executive Director from 1992 – 1998 and a leader in the housing and social justice movements passed away on February 12. Journalist Tom Robbins captured the spirit of Jay’s life of activism in a February 15th City Limits article.
2/12/16:Comptroller of the Currency Makes Strong Statement on CRA Plans: Comptroller Thomas J. Curry emphasized CRA future planning by banks when they submit an application for a merger or acquisition, making it clear that regulators must evaluate these plans in addition to looking at the banks’ prior CRA ratings.
2/5/16: MIH Passes Planning Commission, Bringing the Fight to the City Council: The City Planning Commission (CPC) approved the Administration’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) proposal, moving it to City Council which will hold a hearing February 9. ANHD asks for these changes: 1) Add a Deep Affordability option of 30% affordable housing at 30% AMI; 2) Require all MIH options to include a set-aside of 15% of units at the 30% AMI level; 3) Eliminate the current ‘Gentrification Option,’ the 30% set aside at 120% AMI option; 4) Require that off-site MIH developments set aside an additional 10% affordable units; 5) Increase the number of MIH options to 5, to address the range of diverse neighborhood needs.
2/5/16: NYC EDC Increases Jobs in Outer Boroughs: On February 1, NYC EDC announced that the number of outer borough private sector jobs has grown at more than double the rate of jobs in Manhattan since Mayor de Blasio has taken office.
1/25/16: City Saves 200+ Jobs – Smart City Investment and Local Service Provider Saves Industrial Jobs: The de Blasio administration brokered a deal with a Brooklyn manufacturer to keep over 200 jobs in the City. ANHD commends the Mayor’s and City Council’s commitment to industrial and manufacturing jobs, with low barriers to entry and real career pathways including average wages that are twice that of the retail sector.
1/21/16: Greenpoint Hospital – a 40 Year Sage: Since the early 1970s, the neighborhood has been organizing to replace an abandoned hospital with much needed affordable housing, senior housing and community facilities, built by local non-profit developers. Instead, a succession of mayors over the decades ignored the local vision.
1/15/16: ANHD Statement on 421a: ” … a chance to step back from the 421a model that we have lived with for the past four decades, and instead … create a new program that rebalances developer incentive with public benefit.”
1/14/16: Zoning Change in Williamsburg with Citywide Economic Development Implications. A special permit for 25 Kent Avenue in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg Industrial Business Zone is the start of a new citywide zoning text amendment to create a new model of a mixed use industrial / commercial district.
1/6/16: Rezoning East New York : East New York community residents ask City Council to reject the the the City’s plan for their neighborhood until it includes more of their recommendations.
12/21/15: ANHD’s AMI Cheat Sheet: ANHD’s AMI Cheat Sheet/Wallet Card gives you the information you need in a clear, visual form, including how each AMI % translates to: 1) A household income amount; 2) A monthly rent for that apartment; 3) The % of New Yorkers at each AMI level; 4) The affordable housing construction category as used by the City. DOWNLOAD ANHD’S AMI CHEAT SHEET HERE.
12/16/15: ANHD Testifies Before CPC on MIH & ZQA: ANHD testified at the City Planning Commission hearing on two de Blasio zoning proposals – Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) – and made recommendations to improve both proposals to create housing that’s affordable long-term for New York’s lower-income residents. For ANHD’s testimony on MIH, CLICK HERE. For ANHD’s testimony on ZQA, CLICK HERE.
12/8/15:What You Need To Know About Mandatory Inclusionary Housing: Recapping ANHD’s Analysis. ANHD has beencalling for an MIH policy as an opportunity to put in place a new baseline where every neighborhood and site that is upzoned will include guaranteed affordable housing that truly meets the needs of the local community. But for many ANHD members, the Administration’s current MIH proposal misses the mark.
11/16/15: City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Misses Out. The proposal as it stands would preclude communities and elected officials from securing guaranteed affordable housing for lower income levels in their own local rezoning negotiations.
11/13/15: What Does the New 421a Mean for Developers and for Communities? The Furman Center’s new report shows that the new 421a may be lucrative for developers and not beneficial enough for affordable housing.
11/12/15: New ANHD White Paper Analyzes Financial Feasibility of City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Proposal. ANHD find gaps between MIH study and City’s proposal. For ANHD’s white paper, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing: Financial Feasibility and the Current City Proposal, CLICK HERE
11/4/15: De Blasio’s Zoning for Quality & Affordability Proposal: A Step in the Right Direction. The ZQA proposal strikes the balance our city will need in the upcoming decades to deal with our affordable housing crisis and assist our senior population projected to increase 36% by 2030.
11/3/15: Citywide Coalition Applauds Renewed Industrial Focus: The Industrial Policy announced today by the de Blasio Administration represents a crucial step towards preserving and expanding the City’s key source of good jobs – the industrial sector.
10/28/15: Land Use Reform: Why It’s Critical to Industrial New York’s Future. The biggest threats to the remaining industrial and manufacturing businesses in New York are the limitations inherent in the current zoning code.
10/26/15: New Rules For Mortgage Disclosure:a Step Forward for NYC ANHD is pleased with the CFPB’s actions, particularly to see that for the first time ever, the rules require disclosure of these mortgages, known locally as the “NY CEMA” and elsewhere as CEMAs or MECAs that make up a significant part of the mortgage activity in New York City, especially refinance loans.
10/22/15: ANHD Releases New Research: What Does Your Neighborhood Economy Look Like? ANHD releases new research 10/22/15 on economic development and poverty indicators in NYC, community by community. CLICK HERE for the chart. An interactive map is also on-line.
10/21/15: Greenpoint Hospital: A Missed Opportunity. for 32 years the community has been asking to turn a abandon hospital into affordable housing. They’re still waiting.
10/8/15: Permanent Affordability – Practical Solutions: ANHD’s new white paper crunches the numbers to show why Permanent Affordability is actually more cost effective than limited term affordability.
10/7/15: When Zoning Promises Aren’t Guaranteed … A landlord just promised affordable housing but then sold the lot to someone who’s not – while reaping the profits.
10/6/15: Time to Fix the Expiring Affordable Housing Crisis. While it’s an old story that many landlords tenants and drastically (and illegally) raise rents. But what’s new is that now landlords are doing this withportfolios that were developed specifically as affordable housing, using Low-Income Housing tax credits.
10/5/15: The City’s 3 New Zoning Proposals Explained. ANHD explains the City’s three new Zoning Proposals: 1) Zoning fro Quality & Affordability (ZQA); 2) Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH); 3) and the East New York (ENY) rezoning.
9/25/15: Goldman Sachs Acquisition Should Not Go Through Without a CRA Plan. In August 2015 Goldman Sachs announced plans to acquire $16 billion in deposits and the deposit-taking platform from GE Capital Bank. While Goldman Sachs has proven a strong community player, for this plan there is a lack of opportunity for community input and a lack of clarity on CRA plans.
9/24/15: Communities Question City’s East New York Zoning Plan. Unfortunately, many of the East NY community’s recommendations were excluded from the plan the City is now putting through the 7-month ULURP process. For the City’s plan click HERE. For the Community’s plan click HERE.
8/14/15: In Defense of the Responsible Banking Act. The Wall Street Journal positions the RBA “as a meteor headed straight for the world’s financial sector,” although the Act actually upholds many state and federal laws – such as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Housing Act – to ensure banks lend equitably and responsibly to all populations.
8/10/15: Community Groups Call on New York City to Fight for Responsible Banking Act . Court strikes down NYC communities’ right to have a say in bank reinvestments and services for their neighborhoods.
8/6/15: New York City Fights for New Banking Law – Court Decision Due Within the Week . The Responsible Banking Act (RBA) allows the City to hold banks accountable to better meet the needs of our local community, especially important in light that over $150 billion of NYC’s dollars flow to and through the banking system. But the RBA passed in 2012 has once again been challenged with its future in the hands of the court.
7/31/15: City Inclusionary Zoning Proposal a Step Forward, but Affordability Must be Fixed. An affordable housing program is for creating affordable housing, not market-rate housing. Unfortunately, the City’s plan released today calls for 1/3 of Inclusionary Zoning to accommodate those at 120% AMI.
7/17/15: Just What Does Albany’s 421a Plan Say? Preliminary Analysis of the Details. Under the enacted 421a legislation, many neighborhoods are likely to see rents in the 421a affordable units far too high for the incomes of local residents. For a 2-page version of ANHD’s analysis, CLICK HERE.
7/16/15: A Billion Dollar Opportunity for NYC: Expand Bank Reinvestments for Equitable Economic Development. In a new ANHD White Paper released today, an original ANHD analysis finds that the average percentage of dollars towards economic development by banks in New York City in 2013 was 38% less than their national counterparts.
7/14/15: ANHD Launches Equitable Economic Development Initiative. In the prior administration, 1800+ acres of NYC’s light manufacturing was zoned away and replaced largely by luxury housing. ANHD is responding by broadening its mission and using its community development tools to launch a long-term Equitable Economic Development campaign.
7/13/15: Mayor’s Housing Plan Off to a Strong Start. ANHD commends the new administration on a successful first year in creating and preserving affordable housing, and recommends that it redouble efforts to produce units for the lowest income New Yorkers, where the housing crisis and rent burden is greatest.
7/6/15: NYC’s Responsible Banking Act on Trial AGAIN. For the second time in two years, the Responsible Banking Act (RBA) is on trial in US District Court, where the New York Banker’s Association’s claims were dismissed once before.
6/30/15: Five Equitable Economic Development Priorities for the New EDC. ANHD’s 5 recommendations for EDC’s new President, Torres-Springer to advance equitable growth and quality jobs for all its neighborhoods and residents, not just a bigger tax base and jobs for the City’s top earners.
6/25/15: Sifting through the Albany Damage to Tenants and Affordable Housing. No matter how political leaders whitewash it, the poor came last again in the Albany budget.
6/19/15: CDCs – Doing the Tough Job. Chalk it up to an NYC non-profit affordable housing developer – Pratt Area Community Council – for renovating affordable housing while keeping low-income tenants in their homes, and restoring a New York City landmark, all in one development.
6/10/15: Valley National’s New CRA Plan. Valley National Bank”s new plans to acquire another Florida institution, CNLBancshares, comes at a time when community reinvestment is now an integral part of Valley National’s operations.
6/9/15: 421a: If We Can’t Mend It, End It. ANHD believes the NYS Assembly Bills on Rent Reform (A.7256) and 421a (A.7944) are the proposals to get the affordability our neighborhoods need. See ANHD’s side-by-side comparison of current Rent Reg and 421a legislative proposals.
5/26/15: NYC’s First Banking Needs Assessment. The NYC Community Investment Advisory Board (CIAB) completed its first report as mandated by the NYC Responsible Banking Act (RBA): “2015 Needs Assessment: a Biennial Report assessing the credit, financial and banking services needs in New York City.”
5/22/15: de Blasio NYCHA plan shows real commitment. De Blasio’s Next Generation NYCHA plan (NextGen) is positioned ensure the future of NYCHA, and come to rank as one of the Mayor’s signature housing legacies.
5/21/15: The City Needs Updated Zoning to Preserve Industrial Jobs. NYC’s growing manufacturing sector is threatened by a zoning structure that allows for as-of-right uses such as hotels, big box stores, and self-storage in M-zoned areas, and a real estate market that heavily rewards these higher-paying uses.
5/12/15:The City Needs Updated Zoning to Preserve Industrial Jobs. Unless the City reforms land use, its proposed rezonings might replace our small manufacturers and their jobs with far lower paying hotels, mega franchises and self-storage businesses.
5/11/15: How is Affordable Housing At-Risk in Your Neighborhood? ANHD released its annual report today giving a community-by-community listing of affordable units at risk of going market rate.
5/7/15: Does the Mayor’s 421a Plan Meet Local Needs? ANHD finds that the plan leaves out key groups – low income and very low income New Yorkers.
5/5/15: ANHD Testifies for a Stronger Community Reinvestment Act. Federal bank regulators invited ANHD to present our analysis on the community panel at the EGRPRA outreach meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
4/21/15: Two Non-Profits are the Key to One Flushing’s Success. Permanently affordable green housing with all the trimmings + economic development. Only a non-profit developer – or two – could pull off housing that’s this comprehensive and successful.
4/21/15: It’s Not About Nostalgia – Good Jobs Go When Junior’s Bakery Closes. 50 people will lose their jobs as NYC loses Junior’s Bakery to New Jersey.
3/16/15: ANHD Releases State of Bank Reinvestment in New York City: 2014 Report. ANHD publishes a comprehensive annual report which for 2014 shows both increases in local bank community reinvestments and needs for improvement.
2/24/15: Strong Zoning for Quality Proposal from Administration. On Friday, February 20, the New York City Department of City Planning released a series of zoning proposals entitled, Housing New York: Zoning for Quality and Affordability, committing to several needed, creative zoning changes that will make it easier to develop the type of affordable housing New York City needs.
2/13/15: Another Investors Bank Loan, Another Bad Landlord. Investors Bank makes a loan to a landlord featured in the New York Times and the NYC Public Advocate’s Worst Landlord list for long-term failure to provide heat or hot water to tenants.
2/12/15: Council Speaker Supports Manufacturing Jobs . Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito in her State of the City Speech today pledged to implement the recommendations of an important report, Engines of Opportunity: Reinvigorating New York City’s Manufacturing Zones for the 21st Century.
2/5/15: Local Hearings Begin to Kick Off Responsible Banking Act! First round of public hearings – one in each borough -start next week! (Feb. 9 through Feb. 18). Now is the time for the community to make its voice heard!
2/3/15: Affordable Housing and the State of the City. ANHD weighs in on today’s State of the City address.
2/2/15: 421a Tax Break: Fix It or End It . ANHD’s proposal to make the 421a work for affordable housing.
1/29/15: ANHD’s District Maps – where the 421a tax breaks are. ANHD provides a community-by-community look to determine where the 421a tax breaks occurred in your neighborhood.
1/29/15: Which luxury housing got a 421a tax break? ANHD examines the 421a Developer’s Tax Break including a community-by-community analysis of all the properties that received this tax break in FY 2013.
1/28/15: Press Conference 1-29-15: End the 421a Tax Break . The 421a tax break cheats NYC out of more than $1 billion each year and puts it into the pockets of luxury housing developers. See the ANHD 421a community by community listing of developments that got this tax break in FY 2013.
1/23/15: UPDATE: Why Airbnb is Bad for Affordable Housing. NYC Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings hosted an eight hour oversight hearing, Short Term Rentals – Stimulating the Economy or Destabilizing Neighborhoods? ANHD members say illegal short-term hotels are destabilizing neighborhoods and endangering our affordable housing.
1/20/15: Stronger Anti-Displacement Tools for a Re-Zoned City. As the de Blasio Administration announces the rezoning of 15 neighborhoods over the next several years one of the biggest concerns for communities is how this will impact their existing affordable housing. Click here for blog
1/15/15: Two Steps for Mixed Income Neighborhoods. With the Furman Center’s report published this weekend showing the erosion of affordable housing in high income / gentrifying communities, ANHD offers 2 methods to keep these NYC neighborhoods equitable. Click here for blog
1/14/15: Local Hearings Set to Kick Off Responsible Banking Act! First round of public hearings – one in each borough – are Feb 9 through 18, 2015. Now is the time for the community to make its voice heard! Click here for blog
12/11/14: How Does Affordable Housing Get Built in NYC? The first in a series of blog posts on the nuts and bolts of housing development in New York City. Click here for blog
12/3/14: City Council Weighs in on Preserving Manufacturing Land & Jobs. City Council’s report, Engines of Opportunity: Reinvigorating New York City’s Manufacturing Zones for the 21st Century, highlights quality jobs via NYC’s industrial and manufacturing sector. The report notes average annual wages in the manufacturing and industrial sector are nearly twice those of the retail, restaurant and hotel sectors, and “the industrial workforce in New York City is over 80% people of color and over 60% foreign-born.”
11/25/14: Protecting the Public Interest in Public Land. The city took the right approach recently when it announced that a 25,000 Square Foot city lot on the West Side of Manhattan slated for affordable housing would be sold for one dollar to a local nonprofit, the Clinton Housing Development Corporation. Click here for blog
11/17/14: Astoria Cove Deal Moves the Ball Forward. ANHD applauds the City’s negotiations for gaining at 27/33 affordability at Astoria Cove, with those units in the 27% being permanently affordable. Click here for blog
10/30/14: New Opportunity for Astoria Cove. Just before City Council votes on the Astoria Cove development, the City discovers an error – the upshot is that Astoria Cove should have been mandated for more affordable housing than originally thought. Will the City now follow through and mandate extra affordable units? Click here for blog
10/30/14: Sandy Recovery Report Card. After a year of coordinating community groups in Sandy-impacted areas to assist recovery efforts, ANHD presents the advances, the needs, and what our focus should be for future resiliency. Click here for blog
10/22/14: Airbnb is Bad for Affordable Housing. A large segment of the Airbnb host population is controlled by commercial interests renting out multiple apartments as short term hotels – which adds up to a big loss in affordable units. Click here for blog
10/10/14: 2014’s Worst Landlords: Who Are They and Who Lends to Them? Based on Public Advocate Letitia James new, comprehensive list of NYC’s Worst Landlords, ANHD has researched who lends to these landlords. Click here for blog
9/22/14: HPD Puts Important Affordability Details in Place. HPD to begin monitoring the marketing and re-renting steps of affordable housing, to ensure that units remain affordable. Click here for blog
9/9/14: Let’s Slam the Door on 80/20 Neighborhoods. On September 5th, the de Blasio administration made its strongest statements yet about its commitment to mandatory inclusionary zoning. ANHD is very supportive and also encourages the City to ensure communities are truly affordable, by increasing the number of affordable units and matching the rents to local incomes. Click here for blog
8/18/14: Next Steps for New York City’s Responsible Banking Act. The fate of the New York City Responsible Banking Act (RBA) is now in the hands of the courts. Tomorrow – Tuesday August 19th – is an important step when the judge will hear oral arguments on the RBA, one of the strongest banking ordinances in the country. Hearing is open to the public Tuesday, August 19, 2pm in the Federal Courthouse at 40 Foley Square. Click here for blog
8/13/14: What Counts in the Affordable Housing Countdown.Rather than quibble over numbers of units, let’s make sure we build affordable housing that lower-income New Yorkers can actually afford. Click here for blog
8/5/14: When a Bank Makes a Loan to a Problem Landlord:ANHD reports on a major local bank that recently put millions of dollars into five buildings with an owner who, according to multiple media reports, has made a practice of demolishing occupied apartments as a means of forcing tenants to leave. Click here for blog
8/1/14: The Next Big Housing Fight: the 421a Developer Tax Break: The 421a Developer Tax Break cost New Yorkers over $1.1 billion in deferred tax revenue in the 2013 tax year alone. And astonishingly, most City neighborhoods get the Developer Tax Break without having to construct a single unit of affordable housing.Click here for blog
7/31/14: Borough President Rejects Astoria Cove Rezoning: In a marked step forward for equitable development, Borough President Melinda Katz has weighed in on the proposed Astoria Cove development – and found it wanting. Click here for blog
7/22/14: Poor Door is a Poor Excuse: Developers are taking the subsidies for affordable housing and then treating the renters as second class. Click here for blog
7/17/14: Valley National Bank under Fire from Advocates: Weak CRA record + no public benefits plan should not equal permission to expand. Click here for blog
6/30/14: Council Boosts Support for Housing in City Budget. The New York City Council passed the 2914/15 City Budget, including a significant increase in funding for two programs championed by ANHD and our member groups, that support community-based work to preserve affordable housing: 1) Housing Preservation Initiative (HPI) was increased to $2 million to expand to include 15 more districts, totalling 40 council districts where affordable housing is most at risk; 2) Community Consultant Contract (CCC) was restored and expanded to $1 million, reversing a 50% cut from recent years that had undermined program effectiveness. Click here for blog
6/20/14: Time for a Rent Freeze. ANHD has crunched the numbers to find: 1) the Rent Guidelines Board overstated rising operational costs; 2) the City’s Center for Economic Opportunity’s Poverty Measure Report shows that in 2011, an estimated 46% of New Yorkers were poor or near-poor, making less than 150% of the city’s poverty threshold; 3) the 2011 Housing Vacancy Survey found that 55.3% of rent stabilized tenants paid more than 30% of their household income in rent, and 33% of tenants paid more than 50% of their housing income in rent. For these many reasons, ANHD joins the call for a Rent Freeze. Click here for blog
6/19/14: Astoria Re-Zoning Voted Down by Community Board 1 in Queens. On June 17th, Queens Community Board 1 voted against the proposed Astoria Cove rezoning because the developer did not provide details on how the project would benefit the community, especially around affordable housing, jobs, and community facilities. The community board specifically asked for an increase from 20% to 35% affordable housing and that it be affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income families and remain affordable for the life of the building. Click here for blog
6/18/14: Analyzing the Mayor’s Housing Plan – Part 4: Bringing Good Homelessness Prevention Policy to Scale. In chapter 4 of the Mayor’s Plan, Building New York, the City seeks to reinstate homeless families’ priority for Section 8 rental assistance vouchers and public housing apartments units controlled by the New York City Housing Authority. The plan also calls for reducing subsidies to private-landlords-turned-shelter-owners – these emergency homeless shelters are one of the most expensive places to house people, often costing the government in excess of $3,000 a month per unit.Click here for blog
6/17/14: New York State Finalizes New Multifamily Slumlord Prevention Guidelines – No CRA credit for loans that result in tenant harassment or loss of affordable housing. Governor Andrew Cuomo and DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky at the NYS Department of Financial Services are raising the bar in enforcing community reinvestment: multifamily loans that undermine safe, affordable rental housing conditions will not be eligible for CRA credit. Click here for blog
6/13/14: Where are the Specifics in Big Astoria Cove Rezoning? On Tuesday June 10 when Queens’ Community Board 1 held a public hearing on Alma Realty’s proposed rezoning of Astoria Cove, the Board discovered Alma would share no information on the number of affordable units, the level or length of affordability, any plans to hire local residents, and consideration of community impact. Click here for blog
4/28/14: What the Mayor’s New Housing Plan Should Say: ANHD lists what it will take to reach 200,000 truly affordable units. Click here for blog
4/10/14: How Much Housing Can Inclusionary Zoning Produce? ANHD crunches the numbers on three Inclusionary Zoning models – one of which could produce over 30,000 affordable units. Click here for blog
3/27/14: Tenants Call for Change in Troubled “3 Boro Pool” Buildings. The owner of the Three Borough Pool portfolio, a group of 42 buildings (1,592 units) spread across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, has defaulted on a loan, throwing more affordable housing into foreclosure with a deadline of 4/22/14. Click here for blog
2/24/14: More Housing Must Equal More Affordable Housing. Under Mayor de Blasio we have the opportunity to do more than just build housing – we need to build the kind of housing that’s truly and permanently affordable to everyday New Yorkers. Click here for blog
2/18/14: Welcoming the Mayor’s New Housing Team. Mayor de Blasio brings in an impressive team. Click here for blog
1/28/14: More funds for the “20” in 80/20. As of January 2014, New York State is making less funding available for market rate units which leaves more funding available for affordable units in buildings that are 80% market-rate / 20% affordable. Click here for blog
1/22/14: No more bail-outs for market rate housing unless it includes truly affordable units. Instead of simply bailing a real estate purchaser out with a rezoning or special permit, there needs to be a serious negotiation over how much of that new high rise is going to be truly affordable to people in the neighborhood. Click here for blog
1/16/14: ANHD Calls for Broader Housing Reforms – No more tax abatements without affordability.In a January 5, 2014 opinion piece in the New York Daily News, ANHD lays out how Mayor deBlasio’s affordable housing policy should include Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and continue with even deeper reforms. Click here for blog
1/14/14: ANHD releases new report:State of Bank Reinvestment in NYC 2013: With an annual revenue of over $143 billion, the City is banking much of it with the Boston-based State Street Bank Trust which has no obligation under the Community Reinvestment Act to reinvest in our communities. Click here for blog
FOR ANHD’s 2013 BLOGS (beginning 6-11-13) CLICK HERE