Housing Update: Tenant Blacklist Ban, Sewage in the Gowanus, Facebook Investigated For Housing Discrimination

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From City Limits: 

Seven years after Hurricane Sandy devastated coastal neighborhoods throughout the city, those neighborhoods are still incredibly vulnerable. The city has made some progress amending zoning codes for resiliency, but a major obstacle for homeowners is quite simply, cost. It is very expensive to raise your home on stilts. Read the full investigation by City Limits’ José Cardoso.

The housing market is shedding multi-bedroom units, our Rachel Rippetoe reports. Since 2014, the city lost over 23,000 apartments with four bedrooms or more. The mayor’s affordable-housing plan is producing few of them and landlords have many incentives to divide up large apartments. This leaves larger families in very cramped quarters. Read the investigation

From Around The City:

12,000 families with children were sleeping in a city-run homeless shelter at this point last summer. The main reasons they got there: domestic violence (30 percent), eviction (25 percent), and overcrowding (17 percent). A new study explores these factors by neighborhood. Curbed breaks it down.

One major provision of the new laws to protect tenants prohibits the use of so-called tenant blacklists. amNY looks at how enforcement of this provision might be very difficult. “The new prohibition is written in a way that would require residents to show screening reports were the sole reason — rather than one of multiple factors — in a lease denial.”

Gowanus processes 179,000 gallons per day of raw sewage—much of which flows into the Gowanus Canal during heavy rains. Meanwhile, the city’s proposed rezoning of the area could lead to 8,200 new apartments. Can the neighborhood handle it? The Indypendent takes a look at the forces behind the rezoning and the plans to clean up the canal.

Do investors really think that tighter rent regulations will drive down property values and their abilities to profit? They made the case quite vocally before the new laws passed. It doesn’t seem that clear they are, though. The Real Deal reports firm Meridian Properties just purchased a pair of Brooklyn rent-stabilized buildings for a sweet $32 million.

New York State is investigating whether Facebook’s ad tools are helping advertisers discriminate against potential renters and buyers, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, the Daily News reports.

Should a homeless person have to prove they are homeless? Some individuals living on the streets say they have been given ‘punch cards’ to be signed by an outreach worker after each interaction, in order to qualify for a residential room under a program called Safe Haven. Via The City.

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Correction, July 9th: The post previously misstated the amount of sewage that Gowanus currently processes and suggested all of it flows into the canal. Only some of it flows into the canal when it rains. 

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