NYCHA is home to over 8 million NYC residents (or 1 in 14 New Yorkers) and is an important source of housing for NYC’s teachers, police officers, nurses and more. With an estimated $65 million deficit (expected to be $400 million in a decade), and $17 billion in unmet repairs, this source of housing is under threat. Meanwhile, residents’ living conditions continue to threaten their health, quality of life, and financial stability. These human rights violations are not acceptable.
FEB 2018: The New Flint, Independent Democratic Conference.
The Mayor’s solution is NextGeneration NYCHA. “NextGen” aims to resolve the financial issues by selling off properties to private developers and/or shifting buildings into private management and apartments from Section 9 into Section 8 (also known as RAD – Rental Assistance Demonstration).
Report from the Mayor’s Office and NYCHA introducing Next Generation NYCHA.
JUN 2, 2017: City calls for developers to build affordable housing on four NYCHA sites, The Real Deal.
OCT 30, 2018: CityViews: NYCHA Must Fix Our Homes Before Developing New Ones, by Monica Underwood, Michael Higgins, Karen Blondel and Beverly Corbin
Hyper/Luxury-Development in Western Queens
- MAY 26, 2017: Top US Neighborhoods that Got the Most Apartments After the Recession. by Nadia Balint, Rent Cafe Blog.
– At 12,533 new units since the recession, LIC tops of the list of neighborhoods in the country that have seen the largest growth in new apartments.
- JUNE 21, 2017: About 50 percent of all condos in LIC sold for more than $1 million in 2016, according to report. by Christian Murray, LIC Post – The report, titled The Long Island City Condominium Report 2006-2016, noted that there were 234 condo sales in Long Island City in 2016 with a median sales price of $996,443. Last year, 24 percent of those units were bought with cash, with those financing them putting down an average down payment of $350,000.
- NOV 6, 2017: How much do you need to make to live in these Queens neighborhoods? By Angela Matua, Qns.
– “The median asking rent in Queens is $2,200, which means a household would have to earn $88,000 to rent in the borough. The study also found that in nine of more than two dozen neighborhoods StreetEasy tracked, the household income needed to afford renting is at least 50 percent more than the household income earned in the borough.”
- MARCH 29, 2015: Hotels Keep Popping Up in Industrial Long Island City. By Camille von Kaenel, Uptown Radio.
(More on specific developments like Sunnyside yards, BQX and more – below!)
LIC Core Study & Rezoning
The Department of City Planning is currently holding ‘Listening & Learning’ sessions aiming to get community input about how to rezone and redevelop a central part of Long Island City. DCP claims they want to bring affordable housing to the area, GREAT! But the question is whether their understanding of affordable housing is the same as ours.
So far, the Mayor has overseen the construction and preservation of 77,651 units of ‘affordable housing’ across the city (Office of the Mayor, July 13, 2017). See breakdown of the numbers for yourself here. A quick overview finds that:
- 68% of units are for households earning more than $42,000/year
- 20% of units are for households making more than $68,000/year
- 32% of units are for households making less than $42,000/year
- 15% of units are for households making less than $26,000/year
So when the Mayor says, let’s bring affordable housing to LIC, the question is ‘affordable’ for who?
Learn more here: http://tinyurl.com/DCPCoreStudyLIC
Recap of 2nd meeting: AUG 10, 2017: Frustration and Concerns Voiced at Long Island City Rezoning Workshop. By Abigail Savitch-Lew. City Limits.
Small Businesses and SBJSA
DEC 5, 2018: Diagnosing NYC’s Vacant Storefront Problem, City Limits. By Abigail Savitch-Lew.
March 7, 2017: A Sign of the Times: More For-Rent Notices in Manhattan, New York Times, By C. J. Hughes.
July 5, 2017: Our Community Cannot Afford the Cost of ‘High-Rent Blight’, Chelsea now, By Scott Stiffler.
July 1, 2015: Why Don’t We Ever Hear About Commercial Rent Policy?, Gotham Gazette, By John Surico.
TF Cornerstone Project at Hunter’s Point South
The NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to create a massive 1.5-million-square-foot mixed-use development on two undeveloped CITY-OWNED lots in Hunter’s Point South. Because this is public land, we think it should be developed for public use instead. LIC Coalition agrees, and has started a petition to encourage officials to turn these lots into public parks for the community.
Learn more and sign the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/LICCoalitionPetition
UPDATE: At the Community Board 2 Land Use meeting on Wednesday Oct 18, 2017, it was announced that the buildings in Parcel C have been redesigned to accommodate a the concerns of Amtrak, resulting in an increase in the expected height of the buildings.
Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX)
The BQX is a proposed streetcar system that would run 16 miles from Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens. While the Mayor and a newly-created non-profit, Friends of the BQXsay this is a step towards transit equity, we and other community activists worry this is part of a larger gentrification scheme. Below are some of the facts (organized by UpRose), you decide:
- The supporting non-profit, Friends of the BQX includes major luxury real estate developers: Two Trees Management, Tishman Speyer, The Durst Organization, Industry City
- No guarantee has been made regarding free transfers to/from MTA subways or buses
- Cost is about $2.5 billion.*
- Funding depends on luxury waterfront development, which could displace working-class community members.
*In April, a leaked 7-page memo to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen “laid out a brutal assessment of the construction and financial challenges facing de Blasio’s $2.5 billion trolley, even deflating his main sales pitch — that it will pay for itself” (Rivoli, 2017).
For more information, Check out:
- JAN 16, 2018: Why the Brooklyn/Queens street car connector isn’t progressing. Larry Penner, Metro.
- JAN 3, 2018: Wrinkles in BQX project as review process is delayed, president of support group steps down. By Jaime DeJesus, Brooklyn Reporter.
- FEB 5, 2017: Betting On De Blasio’s $2.5 Billion Streetcar Paying For Itself Is “A Recipe For Disaster”. By Neil Demause, Village Voice. – detailing the economics of the plan (where is that $2.5 billion coming from?)
- NOV 14, 2017: Let a thousand streetcars bloom. By Christoper Robbins, Village Voice.
- 17 min documentary on the BQX, featuring our very own Sylvia White and Jenny Dubnau!
The City has long been considering building over Sunnyside Yards, a functioning rail yard in LIC. However, moving forward with a plan in the near future seems more likely given the other development taking place in the neighborhood and the completion of a feasibility studyby the City in February 2017. Moreover, De Blasio’s administration has proposed 3 scenarios for what the megaproject could look like. These include 1) using the 180-acre plot to develop more affordable housing, to develop more office space, and/or to develop a destination or attraction.
Moreover, De Blasio has proposed 3 scenarios for what the megaproject could look like. These include 1) using the 180-acre plot to develop more affordable housing, to develop more office space, and/or to develop a destination or attraction. More recently, Long Island City was one of four districts officially proposed by the City for Amazon’s second headquarters.
- OCT 19, 2017: Long Island City one of 4 districts officially proposed for Amazon’s second headquarters by NYC. by Nathaly Pesantez, LIC Post.
- SEPT 28, 2017: Sunnyside Yard Eyed For Amazon Headquarters, by Arielle Hernandez, Queens Tribune.
- FEB 6, 2017: City presents three scenarios for megaproject over Sunnyside railyards. by Tanay Warekar, Curbed NY.
Anable Basin / Plaxall Development
- NOV 15, 2017: “Plaxall Announces Major Plans To Rezone Long Island City’s Anable Basin Waterfront, Yielding Towers Up To 695′“. By Andrew Nelson, NY Yimby.