It was a busy week for news related to New York City housing. Here’s what you might’ve missed:
• While the de Blasio Administration is scrambling to build as many new apartments as possible in the midst of a housing crisis, almost 600 city-owned apartments are empty and unused, NY1 reports.
• A new poll released by homeless service agency WIN finds that more than half of New York City residents support the opening of a homeless shelter in their neighborhood.
• Tenants rallied in Williamsburg on Tuesday, sharing stories of alleged harassment and calling for changes to rent laws, Patch reported. Building owner Mohsen Zandieh didn’t return a reporter’s calls.
In zoning news:
• The City Planning Commission approved a plan to rezone the Bay Street corridor in Staten Island, the first rezoning of the area since 1961. The proposal, which would allow increased density in the light manufacturing and low-density residential area, will now move on to the City Council for possible approval.
• The Department of City Planning unveiled a draft plan for a rezoning of Bushwick. It calls for preservation mid-block, increased density along commercial corridors and easing restrictions on development in some manufacturing areas, but differs in significant ways from a proposal produced by a community-led initiative. Protesters interrupted a Community Board meeting to present the plan Tuesday night.
• In a preliminary report, the city’s Charter Revision Commission chose not to recommend a comprehensive planning system, and instead recommended more coordinated use of existing planning mechanisms. More on comprehensive planning here.
• Politico revealed that NYCHA is considering a plan to demolish and rebuild two buildings at the Fulton Houses in Chelsea instead of making repairs. In addition to space for the relocated tenants, the buildings would also house market-rate units, according to the report.
• NYCHA’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion plans have shifted. Gothamist reported that the city is seeking to use Section 18 to convert “some or all” units approved or under consideration for RAD. This might unlock more subsides from Washington, but ensure fewer tenant protections, advocates worry.
• Want to understand more about RAD? Watch this video of an event earlier this week, where a panel of experts will break it down for you.
• The LaGuardia Houses might see more market-rate apartments in a new tower to be built on the the grounds of the Lower East Side NYCHA property, THE CITY reported.
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