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New CHPC Publication: Out of Sight, Out of Control
A brand new CHPC Inside Edge publication (pdf) takes a detailed look at the housing policy circumstances around a deadly fire at 2321 Prospect Avenue; a three family house, in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx.
On April 23, 2011, three people including a child, died in a fire in this building whose recent history highlights the dangerous impacts of the problems plaguing the rental housing market in recent years.
Since the publication of Debt Threat in August 2009, and our symposium One Size Fits Some in September 2009, CHPC has raised concerns and offered recommendations to address the problems …Read more
“Making Room”: Why Should We Care?
By Jerilyn Perine and Sarah Watson
One of the many ironies of life in New York City is that, in a place where people are obsessed with real estate, housing, and the ensuing discussions about what people have, who has a good deal, and what they pay for it, there is little discussion or even awareness of New York City’s housing standards. And yet it is housing standards that largely determine who lives where and how much they pay for it. These standards implicitly encourage the construction of larger units rather than small ones, make it illegal for more than …Read more
Federal Housing Budget 2012
As the Obama Administration’s 2012 budget proposal shows, we have entered a new period of budget restraint which will impact heavily on federal housing programs. There seems to be general agreement that housing programs will be contained, controlled, and cut back. In fact the Administration’s proposal looks like the best possible outcome in the current budget atmosphere, certainly when compared to the cuts passed last week by the House for the 2011 budget. These will have important impacts around the country, but New York City, with the most aggressive housing program …Read more
Policy Brief on Proposed City Council Green Building Legislation
At the end of 2010, the City Council put forward a number of legislative items that were related to green building construction. CHPC put together a summary of these numerous bills to inform our green building committee:
- The Building Code will be amended so that rooftop structures, including greenhouses, will not be included in the height of the building, or considered an additional story, unless the aggregate area of the structure exceeds a third of the area of the roof (INT-0338);
- Solar thermal and solar electric (photovoltaic) collectors and/or panels and their supporting equipment will now be considered rooftop structures
Car Share Zoning Text Amendment
The Department of City Planning recently proposed a zoning text amendment to define car sharing in the Zoning Resolution and establish clear rules to allow car sharing vehicles to park in public parking facilities, as well as in parking facilities accessory to residential, commercial, and other uses.
CHPC’s Zoning Committee met with DCP to discuss this initiative jointly with AIANY at the Center for Architecture. The Zoning Committee sent a letter of full support for this amendment to the City Planning Commission.
CHPC Letter of Support
Dear Chair Burden:
The Zoning Committee of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) …
City Charter Revision – CHPC’s position paper
As highlighted by Mayor Bloomberg when he announced the Commission, the challenges and opportunities in New York City today are vastly different from those in 1989. We believe that this shift is most acute in the areas in which CHPC specializes ‐ housing preservation and development, land use policy, and long‐term planning ‐ and this must be reflected in the City Charter. PlaNYC, launched in 2007, was the articulation of this new era for New York City. It set out the key goals for a sustainable 21st century city, and showed the world that New York continues to be forward‐thinking …Read more
‘Key Terms’ Clarification Text Amendment
In 2007, the Department of City Planning rejected the application of an owner of an Upper East Side townhouse to convert his basement into a garage with a curb cut. The applicant sued, contesting the usage of the term “development” when his townhouse was, in fact, an existing building. The State Supreme Court agreed and this decision prompted City Planning to rethink the definition and the usage of both of these incredibly important terms.
The CHPC Zoning Committee was one of the few organizations who were asked to review hundreds of pages of altered Zoning Resolution text throughout Spring and …Read more
Testimony on new DOB rules
In May 2010, the Department of Buildings proposed new rules regarding progress inspections for new construction and compliance with the NYC Energy Conservation Code. Our Green Building Committee analyzed the complication new rules and put forward our detailed recommendations on amended the proposed rules. Our testimony followed a similar theme for CHPC; there should be more focus on incentivizing green construction materials and processes rather than adding to the cost of construction for developers.
DOB Energy Code Comments by the Green Building Committee
Our committee has reviewed the proposed amendment and adoption of new rules related to the NYC Energy …Read more
Residential Streetscape Preservation Text Amendment
The Department of City Planning recently put forward a citywide zoning text amendment to preserve and enhance the streetscape character of residential neighborhoods. The text amendment closes loopholes in front yard planting requirements, responds to concerns of Community Boards and elected officials related to inappropriate curb cuts and front yard parking pads, and clarifies parking requirements for new dwelling units created in existing homes and for older residential buildings developed before there were parking requirements.
CHPC’s Zoning Committee met with DCP to discuss this initiative and also moderated a DCP presentation of the rezoning jointly with AIANY at the Center …Read more
Debt Threat Report
In 2009, CHPC released a report that spearheaded the debate around multi-family buildings that were going into foreclosure. It described the problems associated with over mortgaged multifamily rental proper ties in New York City, and the wider implications of over mortgaging across the country. If offered analysis of data on properties secured through CMBS activity between 2004 and 2007, as well as more recent anecdotal examples of impacted residential properties in NYC. And finally, and most importantly, it put forward public policy recommendations at the federal, state, and local level.
Debt Threat: Saving Multifamily Rental Housing From Zombie Mortgages
While …Read more
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