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CHPC New York

Category listing for Publications

Urban Prospect: Liquid Assets

In 1988 the City changed the method for collecting water and sewer charges from a system based on the amount of building frontage, to a system based on metered charges determined by actual water usage. It would have been fair to presume that this change would distribute the cost of using water equitably and encourage conservation of a scarce natural resource. In reality, however, the cost of water now has less to do with the amount consumed and more to do with the enormous cost of the infrastructure required to deliver it.

In this Urban Prospect, author Harold Shultz examines … Read more…

Inside Edge: The 2008 Federal Housing Budget

In typically late fashion, Congress completed an appropriations bill for 2008 in December. The 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was signed by the President on December 26, 2007 and is now in effect.

Faced with veto threats over spending levels, the final Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget contained some marginal improvements in appropriations and other items. However the long term trend of decline in HUD appropriations has only been moderated, not reversed.

Herewith are the highlights of the HUD 2008 budget, broken out by the major constituents of the HUD budget: Section 8, Community Planning and Development, and … Read more…

Inside Edge: How to Collect Water and Sewer Bills

Currently the Mayor and the City Council are at loggerheads on the question of how to collect water and sewer bills in the City of New York. While the standoff continues, thousands of accounts are in default, an estimated $589 million of badly needed revenue is uncollected, and the City’s ability to sell real estate tax liens has expired. While the Mayor insists on the authority to sell water and sewer tax liens, the Council wants billing errors to be corrected prior to any such sale. It appears that a perfectly workable straight-forward answer exists but has been ignored. It … Read more…

Inside Edge: How Will Current Financial Instability Affect Housing and Community Development in NYC?

The Citizens Housing and Planning Council recently brought together a wide range of practitioners from the housing industry to discuss investor concern over subprime mortgages and global illiquidity, and the current turmoil that it has caused in financial markets. The discussion was led by Dan Levitan, a founding partner of the Home Mortgage Acceptance Corp. (HMAC), one of New York City’s premiere brokerage firms.  HMAC was acquired by Countrywide Financial Corp. in December 2006. Mr. Levitan currently works at The Manhattan Mortgage Company.

During the month of August, financial markets around the world were battered by the onslaught of a … Read more…

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 … Read more…

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. … Read more…