Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Media Reports on the Homeless, the Mayor 180 Admits Its A Problems, But Nobody Explains the Reason for the Increase 8585

The Post Ignores the Reason for Increase Homelessness 
Fighting back against de Blasio’s hopeless homeless policies (NYP) 
You can too fight City Hall. Indeed, folks in Maspeth have halted Mayor de Blasio’s plans to open a 115-bed homeless shelter in their quiet residential neighborhood. Then, in last week’s Democratic primary, they ousted Assemblywoman Marge Markey over her feeble response on the issue. The mayor’s folks aimed to convert a Holiday Inn Express to a homeless shelter, set to open Oct. 1. Queens lawmakers and residents sued to block the move last month — and the furor prompted the motel’s co-owner to tweet that the deal is off.  City Hall insists the plan will still go forward — because it needs somewhere to put the ever-rising homeless tide. And turning hotels into shelters is a key part of its answer.  But, as we’ve said before, it’s all a hopeless task as long as Human Resources Commissioner Steven Banks — who spent decades suing the city to create new rights for the homeless — leads Team de Blasio’s response. The Post recently found that the number of homeless persons sheltered at hotels had risen 50 percent since February to nearly 4,000 — and to over 60,000 in city shelters. And The New York Times reported that families are again sleeping overnight at city intake offices — something Banks fought as a Legal Aid lawyer 20 years ago. There has been a veritable explosion in the street homeless population as well as homeless families in shelters. The vacancy rate at city shelters for families with children is less than 1 percent. Team de Blasio’s desperate response includes paying to send homeless to their families outside the city and providing rental subsidies to homeless families willing to relocate out of town. But that’s not stemming the tide. Without a coherent homeless-prevention strategy, and a serious “tough love” approach to those claiming to be homeless, the need for more places to warehouse people will keep growing — and angering communities. Maspeth won’t be the last neighborhood to fight City Hall to a draw — or oust unresponsive elected officials.*

Maspeth brings shelter protest to Brooklyn; de Blasio upset (WPIX)

de Blasio Blasts the Press for Claiming There is A Homeless Problem
The Media Reports on the Homeless, the Mayor 180 AdmitsIts A Problems, But Nobody Explains the Reason for the Increase

Media Tells Us That Homelessness Increases But Protecting Developers Will Not Tell Us Why 

The number of people sleeping in New York City shelters has increased by 18 percent since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and reached nearly 60,000, raising questions about the effectiveness of current policies, The Wall Street Journal reports.

de Blasio Fights A NeighborhooOver the Homeless He Created With the Help of His Developer Friends

The co-owner of a Queens Holiday Inn slated to become a homeless shelter said he wants out of the deal because community opposition is too much, but City Hall sources said the plan will go forward and the opening only delayed a few weeks, the Daily News writes.

By Supporting 421-a and Not Enforcing the Law Against Airbnb de Blasio is A Bully Against the Homeless Victims 
No one home at CityHall on homeless (NYDN Ed) There’s still more devastating evidence of the vast chasm that often exists between Mayor de Blasio’s promises and his performance. Although de Blasio had vowed to be the mayor who finally found humane solutions for homelessness, results have been abysmal. There’s still more devastating evidence of the vast chasm that often exists between Mayor de Blasio’s promises and his performance. Although de Blasio had vowed to be the mayor who finally found humane solutions for homelessness, results have been abysmal. An audit, uncontested by the department, depicted management failures that trap families in squalid temporary housing at extraordinary costs. If the conclusion sounds familiar, that’s because de Blasio’s Department of Investigation found equally awful conditions back in March, prompting DHS to commit to fuzzy improvements. Additionally, Stringer found that the administration failed to ensure that families got services, paid for by taxpayers, that are supposedly designed to help them find permanent housing. Although de Blasio identified homelessness as a priority, the report makes clear that no one in City Hall exercised basic management oversight.The DHS assigned a grand total of 14 workers to the monumental task of overseeing the well-being of 12,000 families living in more than 150 apartment buildings, hotels and other quarters. Did the mayor not notice such a paltry staff deployment? Was City Hall’s management chief, Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, on the case at all? Did it escape both men that DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor, let go last week, was relying on shelter operators for assurances that all was a-OK at hell-hole $3,200-a-night digs? Stringer’s auditors inspected 101 randomly chosen shelter households. They found rats, roaches or other vermin in more than half. They found children living in fire-damaged quarters. They found broken faucets and showers, and a toilet that remained kaput after repeated flagging for repair. Did the mayor not notice such a paltry staff deployment? Was City Hall’s management chief, Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris, on the case at all? Did it escape both men that DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor, let go last week, was relying on shelter operators for assurances that all was a-OK at hell-hole $3,200-a-night digs? Stringer’s auditors inspected 101 randomly chosen shelter households. They found rats, roaches or other vermin in more than half. They found children living in fire-damaged quarters. They found broken faucets and showers, and a toilet that remained kaput after repeated flagging for repair.Why bother helping families with apartment hunts, when landlords left and right are illegally rejecting lease applications from the homeless without repercussion. By the thousands, families remain needlessly stuck in shelters, their numbers growing once again.

Despite the Silver and Skelos Trials the Times and the Rest of the Media Still Covering-Up the Effects of the 421-a Program
Here is Some Proof Beyond the Silver Trial for the NYT to End the 421-a Program Destroying Tens of Thousands of New Yorkers Lives
Time to end a hugetax break for wealthy property owners (NYDN Ed) * City was shortchanged on affordable housing: report (NYP) * De Blasio admin is touting 'affordable' apartments forseveral hundred dollars more than market rate: (DNAINFO)  * Landlord trying to swap renters for ‘rich, white tenants': suit (NYP) *  SWEATING IT OUT: Brownsville tenants live without hot water and electricity (NYDN)   * Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn(NYT) *  * Anti-Gentrification Fliers Plastered Throughout Stuyvesant Heights in Bed Stuy (Brownstone) * mortgage loans denied at higher rates to blacks and hispanics in NYC than to whites  (DNAIFNO)  * De Blasio's plan to extend tax break for developers would cost city $2.7 BILLION: report (NYDN) De Blasio and Conservative Party make unlikely team in property-tax fight (NYP) The debate over a $1 billion New York City property tax abatement program has created the strangest political bedfellows of them all — the state Conservative party and the city’s progressive mayor. Conservative Party chairman Mike Long on Thursday praised Mayor de Blasio for opposing the inclusion of “prevailing wages” for construction workers as part of a 421-a tax abatement program to spur developers to build more affordable housing.

 Landlords Accused Of Trashing Apartments Arrested (WCBS) An alleged Brooklyn slumlord and his brother were arrested Thursday morning, accused of creating appalling and squalid conditions for tenants Exemption Gives Rich People Obscene Real Estate Tax Breaks (Gothamist) * The 1% Get A New Park Avenue High Rise And Tax Cuts While Homeless Suffer From Budget Cuts  Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights    *NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Developers' Tax Break: 'Mend It or End It' * New York State Politicians Are Still For Sale(Gawker) * Developers using loophole to funnel donations to Cuomo (RealDeal) Glenwood, Extell and others contributing money to governor via LLCs, report shows * Governor Cuomo’s top real estate donor is Glenwood Management, with $800,000 contributed through 19 LLCs, according to ProPublica * "Progressive" Gentrification: One Community'sStruggle Against Affordable Housing Developers of three new projects paid lobbyists $3M in 2014 (Real Deal) * New Yorkers spend nearly 60% of income on rent: study (NYP) * * In Mayoral Race,Attacking Real Estate Industry but Taking Its Cash (NYT) * Bill de Blasio, Friend of Real-Estate Developers? - The New Yorker  * EmptiestCo-ops and Condos. In Manh, more 421-a units owned by nonprimary than primaryresidents!!!!   *Bharara probing tax deals given to luxury condo building(NYP) * Pampering the rich:Luxury apartments get 421-a tax breaks and rent protection (NYDN) 

NYT Has Written About the Fears of the 421-a Tax Breaks But It Will Just Not Connect the Dots to Silver Who Took Millions to Pass The Harmful Program
De Blasio’s Housing Push Spurs Anxiety Among Those It’s Meant to Help (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s drive to build 80,000 apartments to combat income inequality has aroused fears of more gentrification and more displacement.* The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report on the effect the 2008 changes to the 421-a tax credit have had on the location of the buildings that utilize the tax exemption:  Cuomo Calls the Mayor's Bad Management the Cause of the Increase in the City's Homeless 'IT'S TIME FOR THE GOVERNOR TO STEP UP': De Blasio pushes NYC homeless issue back onto Cuomo, who blamed mayor's lack of management and intelligence (NYDN)

NYT Has Written About Scheme to Defraud Homeowners in Neighborhood Undergoing Gentrification . . . But Does Not Connect 421-a For Creating the Market for the Scammers
Real Estate Shell Companies Scheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (NYT) Relying on the secrecy of limited liability companies, white-collar thieves are targeting pockets of New York City for fraudulent deed transfers, leaving the victims groping for redress. In Bedford-Stuyvesant and other pockets of the city, white-collar criminals are employing a variety of schemes to snatch properties from their owners. NYT Looks Out for for Undocumented Immigrant Laborers But Not the Tenants Who Are Being Pushed Out Because of Increase Construction Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York (NYT) An increase in fatalities and injuries has mostly affected undocumented immigrant laborers and far exceeds the rate of new construction.*  This dead landlord is still haunting his tenants * Real Estate Shell Companies Scheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (NYT) 

Both Cuomo and de Blasio While Bashing Each Other Did A 421-a Gaffe
Even de Blasio Has Called the 421-a A Give-A-Way to Developers But Is Still Trying to Move Developers Into East NY
After meeting with legislative leaders and the governor in Albany, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be “irresponsible” for state lawmakers to simply extend a controversial tax break known as 421a that he considers a “giveaway” to developers. *:  "This city works when it's for everyone," @ BilldeBlasio says, and "gentrification has changed us."* "If Albany won't mend it, let's end it," @BilldeBlasio says of 421-a.  * .@BilldeBlasio for 1st time calling for 421a to end altogether if he doesn't get changes he wants. "End those tax breaks once and for all" * .@BilldeBlasio says $100 million condo got a tax break. "Not anymore, brothers and sisters." State lawmakers must end tax breaks for housing developers if they won’t amend it: Bill de Blasio 
Political gaffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

de Blasio Admits Market Forces Causing Homelessness . . .  Cuomo Extends War With Cuomo to Affordable Housing
One of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives hit an obstacle when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration curbed a financial resource critical to building low-income housing, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * The Times writes that Cuomo and de Blasio need to set their unresolvable issues aside and that Cuomo should respond to the mayor’s affordable housing plan with a similar or bigger commitment that delivers the support New Yorkers need: * One of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiatives hit an obstacle this week, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration curbed a financial resource critical to building low-income housing.
de Blasio: "The market dynamics are forcing people out faster than all of our tools can compensate.”
Bill’s de Blasio'shomelessness crisis (NYDN ED) Bill de Blasio came into office with a single-minded solution for homelessness: shut down dirty, dangerous shelters and use the savings to secure permanent housing. After The New York Times documented the harsh life of a young girl in a fetid city-run shelter, the then-mayor elect said: “We cannot let children of this city like Dasani down.” Now America’s champion of progressives is reckoning with breaking that vow. Meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board on Thursday, de Blasio made the extraordinary admission that he cannot keep up with the tide of people seeking housing assistance:  “What we’re having a hell of a time with is.  * New York City is planning to add more housing for homeless adults and children fleeing domestic violence, the latest effort by de Blasio’s administration to deal with a homelessness problem that has persisted as housing costs in the city have continued to soar. One Exception the Hotel Unions NYC Mayor de Blasio defended his administration’s four-month-old law curtailing hotel conversions into residential space amid a legal battle with the powerful Real Estate Board of New York. “We obviously think the bill was appropriate,” the mayor said. With two key rezoning efforts in De Blasio’s affordable housing plan facing opposition from many of the city’s community boards, the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez writes that the mayor should consider taking control of the Battery Park City Authority from the state to increase funding for affordable housing: * Construction of 55 teeny-tiny micro-apartments – an experiment approved by former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg as a potential solution to the city’s housing crisis – is nearly complete, with 60,000 people applying for one of the 14 “affordable” units.

Only 3,000 of De Blasio's 20,000 Affordable Housing UnitsAre Permanent via @Dnainfo * Just months after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration argued that hiring union workers would undermine the mayor’s affordable housing plan, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James announced a plan to partner with organized labor, the Observer writes: * Politico New York hasmapped the more than 3,000 affordable housing units being built in 2015 as part of New York City’s voluntary Inclusionary Housing Program: * Four Reasons You Can’t Stop the Brooklyn Juggernaut - Commercial Real Estate * In a clash with their landlord, these apartment tenantsstarted making covert recordings. (NYT) Residents of rent-stabilized units in an East Village apartment building used cellphones and camcorders to record talks with their landlord’s agent, who they say tried to scare them into leaving.* The affordable housing the mayor refuses to see (NYP) De Blasio might be surprised, then, to learn that the much-maligned private market is offering plenty of rental housing at prices equivalent to what the city would charge in new, subsidized units — but since city affordable housing costs New York either property-tax abatements or other cash subsidies, the private market’s affordable housing is cheaper. For everyone. * The Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock and Alex Armlovichin the Post write that New York City ought to focus on spreading the word about the large amount of affordable housing that exists rather than building new units:* A report by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development shows New York City subsidies have historically focused on areas that need the least help, but its push to change this seems like a long-shot,Crain’s reports:  * The de Blasio administration and New York City Councilman Corey Johnson announced plans to generate $100 million for repairs at Manhattan’s Pier 40 by authorizing a five-building housing development, the Daily News reports * Unions Slam de Blasio-Backed Affordable Housing WithStolen Wage Report (NYO)  * Nearly half of the affordable apartment tenants in a new survey say they're spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent, a level considered “rent-burdened,” and 14 percent say more than 50 percent of their income goes to rent, the Daily News writes:  * Survey shows some NYC affordable housing tenants still pay high rent *   In another apparent dispute between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the governor has threatened to cancel funding for federal tax-exempt bonds that would finance the mayor’s affordable housing plan

Airbnb Pay More Taxes But the Gentrification Damage is Done On Hoteling Not Home Sharing 
Will the Council Duck the Affordable Housing Gentrification Problem?

Airbnb vows to partner with cities, pay more taxes (NYP) ALBANY — After years of defying and vexing governments from New York to Berlin, Airbnb is taking a more cooperative stance and promising to “partner with cities” and pay taxes....* .@Airbnb won't acknowledge much/most of its biz in cities it mentions is not home "sharing" at all, but hoteliering.   * Airbnb Pledges to Work With Cities and Pay ‘Fair Share’ of Taxes  via @mikeisaac * After years of defying and vexing governments from New York to Berlin, Airbnb is taking a more cooperative stance and promising to “partner with cities” and pay taxes.* Tax-Subsidized Tenants Caught Renting Out Luxury Queens ApartmentsOn Airbnb (CBS)

New Yorkers Needed A Poll to Be Taken For de Blasio and Bratton to See the Homeless Mess
Mayor de Blasio’s still in denial on the city’s homeless mess (NYP ED) Mayor de Blasio declared Friday that the real mistake was that City Hall “did not explain to people well enough what we were doing to address homelessness.” This, the day after Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s stunning statement that the administration fell down by “not validating what we all were seeing.” “For a period of time,” Bratton said, the administration wasn’t “admitting what everybody was seeing and feeling, including myself, in my neighborhood.” In truth, both men this summer downplayed what was happening in front of everyone’s eyes and — ahem — noses. When The Post’s reporting on quality-of-life woes exposed outrageous violations by vagrants this summer, the mayor declared we were “well-known for fear-mongering.” In August, he insisted, “We’ve had a reduction in street homelessness” — pointing to a one-night survey done four months before on one of the coldest evenings of the year. Bratton wasn’t a whole lot better. His reaction to Post photos of John Tucker urinating in the middle of a West Side street? “He’s an extremely emotionally disturbed individual . . . and so all the attention is actually exacerbating his condition.” Once polls showed the public was seeing just what The Post was reporting, the mayor had a spokeswoman “explain” that the rise began in the Bloom­berg years. 
* Despite de Blasio's moves to more than double funding for unsheltered homeless people, that might not be enough as the population appears to be growing faster than the city's efforts to address its needs, Politico NewYork reports: 

Silver Took Pay to Play Money to Pass 421-a Has Pushed New Yorkers Out of Their Homes created Homeless
 Testimony zeroes in on Silver’s financial disclosure forms (PoliticoNY) The government introduced into evidence audio recordings between Silver and various political reporters, including the New York Post’s Fred Dicker, Capital Tonight’s Liz Benjamin and POLITICO New York’s Jimmy Vielkind, that included nearly identical statements by Silver regarding the nature of his outside legal work and the type of clients he represented. “My clients are little people who have nothing to do with the political life,” Silver stated in one interview from 2008. The recordings seemed to contradict what Silver is alleged to have done. A number of witnesses thus far have testified about Silver’s referral arrangement with the real estate law firm Goldman & Iryami, which worked to reduce the taxes some of the biggest real estate firms in the state paid to New York City. * The Daily News writes that former Assembly Speaker SheldonSilver’s trial has shown his once-routine description of his legal work contained “not a shred of truth,” and instead he bagged referral fees by directing state funds to a doctor:* Lawyers for a man who was speaker for 20 years think it'sunfair to associate their client with Albany. (WSJ)* Jurors in Sheldon Silver's corruption trial hear 2008 interview of him ...Opinion-Newsday

Homeless  What is the Cause of the Historic Increase?

105,000 HOMELESS NYC STUDENTS...(NYP) * NYC homeless population reaches historically tragic number (NYP) The number of homeless people in city shelters has exceeded 60,000 for the first time in history, official data revealed Wednesday.  There are now 60,017 individuals being put up by the city — 36,463 adults and 23,554 children — according to the Department of Homeless Services’ “daily report” posted on its Web site.* 60,000-person question: At what point does Bill de Blasio reassess his failing approach tohomelessness? (NYDN Ed)  Seen through the mayor’s distorting ideological lens, the fact that a record 60,017 men, women and children went to bed in city homeless shelters Tuesday night shows both that New York wouldn’t dare deprive those who seek living quarters a place in this city and furthermore prevented even greater numbers from streaming in. He implicitly rationalizes as inevitable a steady upward swell into shelters, as escalating rents and a crush of population growth sets whole swaths of low-income New York adrift, unable to afford housing.  Will de Blasio similarly stay the course if and when the number of people living in homeless shelters — many merely hotel rooms without kitchens — hits 70,000? 80,000? More?  Coherence and consultation would be far preferable to de Blasio’s mad scramble, which started with the wrong assumption that shelters would shrink and then resorted to hotels as a quick fix. But the goal should be to build fewer. The mayor must accept, as agonizing as it is, that families living doubled up with others will have to find, with the city’s help, solutions other than shelter.

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