Archive for Publications

Inside Edge: Rent Stabilization and the J-51 Tax Benefit

After Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village (STPCV) were sold, a group of tenants brought legal action to challenge the new owners’ ability to take apartments out of Rent Stabilization through the “luxury decontrol” rules which came into effect in 1994. Under that provision of the law, when rents exceed $2,000 on vacancy or when an existing tenant’s income exceeds $175,000 and the rent for their apartment exceeds $2,000 the owner could apply to DHCR to remove that apartment from Rent Stabilization. Since the law went into effect more than 64,599 apartments have been removed from Rent Stabilization under those …

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Urban Prospect: Starrett City, Paradise Lost?

It was a wasteland, wedged among the Belt Parkway, a garbage dump, and two creeks. Its nearest neighboring community, East New York, was sinking fast. Far from the subway, schools or other infrastructure, the site’s development had an inauspicious start.

Now, more than 30 years later, 5,881 units of affordable housing, which succeeded against great odds, are about to be sold in Brooklyn for a reported price of $1.3 billion. Existing tenants are concerned that their apartments will lose rent subsidies and the resulting increases will lead to displacement. Politicians and government officials are promising to keep Starrett City affordable. …

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Urban Prospect: 421-a: A Taxing Issue

From attracting jobs to preserving historic structures, tax forgiveness has been a critical tool for policymakers seeking to attract and influence the investment of private capital. Nowhere has this tool been more effectively used than in New York City’s efforts to preserve and expand its housing stock. Since its inception, the 421-a partial tax exemption has helped to create over 124,000 units of housing, more than 5,500 of which have been made available to low-income households through the Negotiable Certificate Program.

The housing industry has been dependent upon some form of tax relief in large part to ameliorate flawed real …

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Urban Prospect: The Kelo Paradox

On June 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered what was arguably its most controversial land use decision in recent memory. By upholding a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling that the City of New London and its Development Corporation had not violated the Public Use Clause of the Fifth Amendment after initiating takings proceedings against Susette Kelo and eight other property owners, the Court unwittingly politicized one of the most important instruments of local land use planning. The decision, while a seeming victory for local authorities involved in community development efforts, produced an immediate and vehement public backlash, which would ultimately …

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Urban Prospect: Parking Puzzles

When news surfaced in Riverdale last February that 100 surface parking spots were on the verge of being eliminated to make way for a new high-rise residential building, neighborhood drivers were infuriated. Local politicians and community leaders, sensing both opportunity and danger, responded by organizing a parking forum with representatives from city agencies on hand to answer questions and placate concerns. Throughout the heated discussion, many of the residents in attendance expressed frustration that more households than ever were choosing to own vehicles, but that new residential developments were not doing enough to accommodate them.

Click here (pdf) to read …

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Urban Prospect: Inclusionary Boroughs

When the City Council voted to enact a modified rezoning proposal for Williamsburg-Greenpoint on May 11, it effectively authorized a dramatic remaking of that section of Brooklyn. It also brought to a close an exhausting planning and political process that established new parameters for housing policy and land use practices in the city.

Click here to read CHPC’s analysis of the rezoning of 184 Brooklyn blocks.…

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