Mosley Weighs In on 421-a Renewal
Fort Greene Assemblyman Walter Mosley, who has made affordable housing in his district a central issue, delivered the following testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings’ hearing on the 421-a subsidy for developers. Sate lawmakers must either reform, renew or let sunset before the end of their June 17 legislative session.
“This tax abatement program was started in 1970 to incentivize development in, what was then, a city on the brink of economic and fiscal collapse. Since then, the 421-A program has been warped into a program used not to spur on economic development and increase housing, but into a subsidy used for luxury real estate development at the price of hardworking New Yorkers’ tax dollars.
“The affordable housing crisis in this City is at a peak and we as elected representatives of the people have turned to programs like 421-a to incentivize the private sector to spur on the growth of affordable housing units – only to realize the cost far exceeds the actual benefit. I will tell you that this program, which cost the City roughly 1.1 billion a year, is shifting the burden of taxation unjustly on those who can least afford it; the hard-working families of New York City.
“I renew my pledge to the citizenry of New York that I will continue the push with my colleagues in the Assembly and those in the State Senate Chamber in these last crucial days of session to reform the 421-a tax abatement program to make it more equitable to tax payers and to create permanent affordable housing in this City,” said Mosley.
Adams, Reynoso Renew Call For NYCHA State Funding
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Williamsburg City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, yesterday, renewed their call for Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore $100 million in State funding for critical New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) roof repairs.
The two lawmakers, along with Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, urged for restoration of the funds as Adams stood on the damaged roof of 110 Humboldt Street, a seven-story residential building that is part of the Borinquen Plaza II development in Williamsburg.
The investment by the State, which had been previously indicated to go toward these needed projects and to be matched by the City budget, has been redesignated to fund legislators’ pet projects such as landscaping and playgrounds.
“Diverting resources from critical roof repairs to playgrounds and landscaping is like trying cosmetic surgery to fix a patient who is bleeding out on the operating table; it’s foolish and it won’t work,” said Adams. “You can’t repair a playground when your roof is not on solid ground. Whatever reason the State had to divert this money, it doesn’t matter. Health and safety matter, and common sense matters. I am urging Governor Cuomo to restore the $100 million in State funding to critical roof repairs across our NYCHA system.”
Five NYCHA developments in Brooklyn are set to lose out on support for roof repairs as a result of this decision, including Borinquen Plaza I and Borinquen Plaza II, Langston Hughes Houses and Samuel J. Tilden Houses in Brownsville, and Bernard Haber Houses, a senior citizen development in Coney Island.
“The State’s refusal to fund necessary roof repairs at Borinquen Plaza is unacceptable,” said Reynoso. “NYCHA’s needs assessment showed that basic building infrastructure upgrades are necessary for resident safety throughout the system, yet the State is instead allocating funds to cosmetic repairs. The State should withdraw its proposal and instead focus its resources on repairs that prioritize immediate infrastructure needs.”
ACS Moves Foster Teens To Park Slope facility
The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) will move a dozen teens and young adults to Park Slope from a a troubled Manhattan foster care facility, DNAInfo reported.
The foster kids and young adults will move to The Virginia Residence, a new two-story facility on 9th Street next month. The nonprofit social services organization MercyFirst will run the facility. It had previously been used to shelter 10 teen moms and their babies until last year, said MercyFirst President Gerard McCaffery.
ACS held a public hearing about the project at its William Street offices on May 12. But no public testimony was given at the meeting, according to ACS officials.
Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman, whose board encompasses the area where the new Park Slope facility is located, said he was not aware that the meeting had taken place but got a phone call from ACS officials two days later to inform him about the project.
“At no point did ACS mention that this was the subject of a public hearing on May 12,” Hammerman wrote in an email, adding that he reached out to ACS officials to ask them to present the proposal to the board in June and is waiting to hear back from the agency.
Do The Hustle
The city’s Parks Department is holding a park dance event around the classic disco dance, Do The Hustle.
The city agency invites all dancers to the park to show their Hustle moves or to learn the dance.
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., this Friday, June 5
Location: St. Andrew Park. Herkimer St, Kingston and Atlantic Avenues, Bed-Stuy
Entertainment: Live DJ music by DJ ONE
For more information call (718) 965-8937 or email [email protected]
Felder Calls For Violent Felony Registry
Borough Park State Senator Simcha Felder said he is signing onto a measure now before the senate which would establish a public registry of violent felony offenders similar to that established for convicted sex offenders.
Dubbed “Brittany’s Law – Domestic Violence Prevention Act,” the measure would require all individuals convicted of a violent felony to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) upon release from prison. The registry would be accessible to the public, similar to the registry of sex offenders that the State currently has in place.
The measure is named for 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua, who was brutally murdered along with her mother, Helen Buchel, in their home in November 2009.
The perpetrator was John Edward Brown, a violent convicted felon who had been released from prison early after serving only 2 ½ years for assaulting his infant daughter in 2003. Brown had been put on parole just months before he committed the murders.
“We have a responsibility to keep our communities safe and these tragic deaths underscore the need for tougher penalties for violent offenders,” said Felder on his website.
“I am committed to enacting tougher sentencing laws for violent criminals, reinforcing laws to protect women and children from domestic violence, and strengthening the rights of crime victims to prevent future tragedy from occurring. By putting new measures in place to track violent offenders and keeping our communities informed of their whereabouts, “Brittany’s Law” will save lives,” he added.
De Blasio Orders Review of Three-Quarter Houses
Mayor Bill de Blasio, yesterday, announced that an interagency task force will review the city’s use of three-quarter houses that serves recovering substance abuse addicts and the homeless.
The order for a review follows a New York Times Story about Medicaid fraud and housing violations in several of these houses located in East New York. Additionally, there are other three-quarter houses spread around various neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
“We will not accept the use of illegally subdivided and overcrowded apartments to house vulnerable people in need of critical services,” said de Blasio. “The City has already been working to identify these residences and this task force will accelerate inspections and enforcement, relocate residents where necessary, and make recommendations to end this terrible practice.”
“Nothing can trump ensuring the safety of New Yorkers, especially our at-risk populations seeking to transition from challenging circumstances toward independent living. For years, unscrupulous landlords have shunned safety concerns in favor of pure profit, operating scores of illegal three-quarter houses in central Brooklyn and other neighborhoods with foul, hazardous conditions. We can no longer allow taxpayers to underwrite such squalor. I thank the de Blasio administration for this essential multiagency approach that will lead to safer housing, better use of critical social services and treatment, as well as effective enforcement of bad actors,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Abuses in so-called three-quarter houses prey on some of our most vulnerable neighbors and simply cannot be tolerated,” said Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “It is important that the City move swiftly to investigate and address these schemes, while working proactively to ensure residents are protected and able to secure quality, livable housing.”
“I commend the de Blasio administration for taking decisive action to identify and correct the dangerous and deplorable conditions found in many three-quarter houses and move residents into more appropriate placements. New Yorkers in need deserve a safe and supportive environment and the city must hold all providers and programs to that standard,” said North Brooklyn Council Member Stephen Levin, Chair of General Welfare Committee.