Cymbrowitz, De Blasio Craft Bill For Senior Rent Subsidy
Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) yesterday announced that more than 25,000 New York City seniors who struggle to pay their rent could receive a much-needed subsidy under a new program crafted jointly through state legislation with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
The Elder Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) would provide rental assistance to seniors who are paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income toward their rent and have a total income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income. Funds for the program would be raised through a 2.5 percent transfer tax paid by the buyer on high-end real estate transactions of condos, co-ops and one- to three-family homes. The tax would apply only to the amount of the transaction exceeding $2 million.
Cymbrowitz said the severe shortage of affordable housing for low-income seniors has necessitated a new approach, especially as a severe slash in funding at the federal level is expected to decimate city and state senior housing programs.
“For hundreds of thousands of seniors living on pensions, retirement savings and other fixed incomes, the rapid rise in rents has threatened their ability to stay in their homes and neighborhoods,” said Cymbrowitz. “More than 100,000 seniors have waited for seven years or more on an affordable housing waitlist and the reality is that older New Yorkers simply do not have that luxury.”
The new program would affect about 4,500 residential real estate transactions in Fiscal Year 2018, raising an estimated $336 million for senior rental assistance. The amount of rental assistance would be calculated as the difference between the senior’s rent payable, or maximum rent set by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and 30 percent of the senior’s monthly income.
Espinal Lauds Cuomo’s Comprehensive Plan to Invest in Central Brooklyn
City Councilmember Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York) yesterday lauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1.4 billion initiative that will address the chronic disparities, like systemic violence and entrenched poverty in such Central Brooklyn neighborhoods as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Brownsville and East New York.
Dubbed Vital Brooklyn, the initiative will take a holistic approach in breaking down barriers of health and well-being through eight integrated areas of investment including Open Space and Recreation, Healthy Food, Community-Based Healthcare, Comprehensive Education and Youth Development, Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, Community-Based Violence Prevention, Affordable Housing; and Resiliency.
“I have long said that we have to do more than just build affordable housing,” said Espinal. “Our communities, which have long been disserved by years of neglect and disinvestment, deserve a thorough approach to their growth and wellness. Not only has the Governor stepped up to the plate to build 3,000 units of sorely needed affordable and supportive housing, but also, his plan will bring jobs, cultivate open space, prevent violence, improve access to healthy food, and support our schools.
“By allocating $1.4 billion for Central Brooklyn, the state has committed to sustain and develop our neighborhoods for long-term growth. This plan is comprehensive, bold, and necessary. I look forward to working with the Governor to implement these investments and partner with his administration for the betterment of our beloved Brooklyn.”
Jeffries Wants Trump To Come Clean On Russia Ties
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Central Brooklyn, Coney Island) and House Democrats yesterday introduced a resolution of inquiry that could compel the Trump Administration to publicly disclose information to Congress and the American people of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during last year’s presidential election.
The resolution comes in the aftermath of misleading information put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions concerning his interaction with Russian operatives, and following a steady stream of troubling revelations related to the possible collusion.
The bill calls for President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to submit to Congress any documents that could connect the Trump campaign with the Russian effort to compromise our Democracy. It states that they must reveal “Any meeting or communication between any formal or informal advisor, affiliate, or employee of Donald Trump, his campaign or transition team, and any individual or entity representing the interests of Russia or individuals with interests involving Russia.”
“Jeff Sessions either lied to Congress under oath or provided inaccurate information. Either way, he broke the law. The American people deserve to know why the nation’s Attorney General and all of the president’s men were in frequent contact with Russian operatives during the election. It’s time for House Republicans to put country over party. Something stinks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We are determined to find out if the rot goes all the way to the top,” said Jeffries.
Cumbo Deplores Bomb Threat To Jewish Children’s Museum
City Councilmember Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) deplored yesterday’s bomb threat that was emailed to the Jewish Children’s Museum.
Museum founder Devorah Halberstam said the threat came in from overseas to the museum on Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue around 8:30 a.m. The threat shut down the museum for hours until the NYPD bomb squad investigated and determined the museum free of any bombs.
The bomb threat continued a citywide and national series of anti-Semitic threats made at Jewish institutions.
“The City of New York is built upon a foundation of unity and cultural inclusion. We pride ourselves as a city that nurtures and respects the diversity of race, culture, and religious beliefs. As the Council Member of the 35th Council District, which is home to synagogues, academic and cultural institutions that celebrate Jewish customs and traditions, I stand in solidarity with the Jewish Children’s Museum and wholeheartedly support its mission to foster tolerance and understanding,” said Cumbo.
“A threat against one is a threat against us all; and acts of hate or violence will not be tolerated in our community. I want to thank the NYPD for their immediate response and continued vigilance against any and all threats against the safety of New Yorkers.”
Malliotakis Unveils List of Crimes City’s ‘Sanctuary’ Policy Ignores
After a brief exchange during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s testimony before the New York State Assembly budget hearing on “Local Governments”, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) formally requested that the Mayor explore making adjustments to the existing “sanctuary city” law o include more crimes, in which undocumented city residents would be subject to deportation.
The current city local law restricts the ability of the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on civil detainer requests, Malliotakis said.
Malliotakis said during the budget hearing, de Blasio expressed a willingness to add crimes to the list of offenses that trigger cooperation.
“While I believe that municipal law enforcement agencies should comply with civil detainers for all criminal offenses, I think Mayor de Blasio and I can agree that crimes such as sexual abuse, forcible touching and patronizing of a minor for prostitution are serious offenses that should trigger a zero tolerance policy. Government’s first responsibility is to keep its citizens safe. The city should not be harboring individuals who are not only here illegally but committing crimes against our citizenry as well,” said Malliotakis.
Ortiz Announces $2.1 Million Alocation For Fridges and Stoves
Assemblyman and Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) today will announce the allocation of 2.1 million dollars to fund new refrigerators and stoves for residents at NYCHA’s Red Hook East & West Houses.
Ortiz will also present checks to the Red Hook East & Red Hook West Resident Associations to help fund the organization’s Family Day Event held in August of every year.
The event is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, March 10 at the Red Hook Houses, 420 & 426 Columbia Street in Red Hook.
Colton Hosts Neighborhood Talent Show For NYPD, FDNY
Assemblyman Bill Colton (D-Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) together with Leonora Bulychova, President of Club a-Elita, a local community organization, on Sunday will host a concert bringing together local talented children and adults to show appreciation for the NYPD and FDNY.
The show is expected to have over 30 young participants from local music schools, including Shostakovich School of Music Art & Dance, PS 105 Violin Ensembly, Plaksumova Vocal Art Studio and the Alex Music Winds Studio.
Colton considers this event a great opportunity to positively engage and unite the community and is looking forward to teaching and supporting the children as they show their gratitude towards the heroes of the community.
The talent show is slated for 1 p.m., Sunday, March 12 at the King David Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, 2266 Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach.
Richardson Sets Second Meeting On Proposed Crown Heights Homeless Shelter
Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) next week will hold a second public meeting on the city’s plan to put a mens homeless shelter at 1173 Bergen Street.
“It was exhilarating to see residents come out [to the last meeting on the issue] in record numbers, on such short notice in regards to the aforementioned site. I would also like to thank Brooklyn Community Board 8 for their partnership on this issue. They have been a tremendous help in working to bring clarity to the community,” said Richardson in her newsletter to constituents.
“Furthermore, it is understood that there is a oversaturation of these facilities in our community, but public concern did not fall on deaf ears. Many were left with unanswered questions, which resulted in next week’s Tuesday meeting. Please note, there is an allotted two-hour time limit by the school, so in order to obtain on necessary information, it is imperative that the community arrive on time, ready to receive it.
‘In addition, I am unfortunately unable to be present at this meeting, because I will be working and fighting for our community in Albany. Nonetheless, this meeting will include representatives from the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Department of Social Services, Core Services, the New York Police Department, and local elected officials.”
The meeting is slated for between 6:30-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 14 at Uncommon Charter School, 1485 Pacific Street between Brooklyn and Kingston Avenues in Crown Heights.