Tish James to city: Stop converting rent-stabilized units into homeless shelters

City has $98M in contracts with building owners

New York /
Sep.September 22, 2017 05:15 PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to curb homelessness in New York City is exacerbating the housing crisis, according to New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who is calling on the mayor to stop allowing landlords of rent-stabilized apartments to turn their buildings into homeless shelters.

The city has $98 million in contracts out with such building owners, who ironically are chipping away at the stock of affordable rental housing by repurposing their buildings for temporary quarters for the city’s homeless.

That’s because once the contracts with the city expire, the landlords may be able to permanently remove the apartments from rent stabilization and rent out the apartments at high, market rates.

“These pending contracts attempt to solve one problem by exacerbating another,” James told Gothamist.

The units in question number more than 300 and are located in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Critics of the program want the city to instead consider longterm, affordable housing solutions for the homeless instead of makeshift, shelters cobbled together with rent-stabilized apartments.

“We need real housing, permanent housing that’s actually affordable to homeless people,” said Lisa Milhouse, a member of advocacy group Picture the Homeless and a resident of one of the affected buildings.

Last fall, HPD quietly introduced a new rule allowing the city to house homeless families in rent-stabilized affordable housing units created in new developments built with the 421a tax exemption, provoking the ire of some New York developers. [Gothamist] — Will Parker


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Attorney General Letitia James (Getty)
AG nails landlord for breaking rent law, promises more to come
AG nails landlord for breaking rent law, promises more to come
Queens official Donovan Richards, Larry Silverstein and rendering of Innovation QNS (Queens Borough President, Innovation QNS, Getty)
Queens boro prez turns on industry, rejects Silverstein’s $2B project
Queens boro prez turns on industry, rejects Silverstein’s $2B project
Cea Weaver (Getty)
Cea Weaver pokes landlords’ hive over rent reform
Cea Weaver pokes landlords’ hive over rent reform
United States Representative James Clyburn (Getty Images)
Four corporate landlords used “abusive tactics” in pandemic evictions: House committee
Four corporate landlords used “abusive tactics” in pandemic evictions: House committee
Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin (Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal with Getty)
Manchin-Schumer deal closes real estate tax loophole
Manchin-Schumer deal closes real estate tax loophole
Hudson Yards, Related Companies' Stephen Ross, Vornado’s Steven Roth and SL Green’s Marc Holliday (Getty, Related, Vornado, SL Green)
Developers all-in on Manhattan casino push
Developers all-in on Manhattan casino push
Fried Frank, City Planning, politics
Former City Planning chief Anita Laremont to join Fried Frank
Former City Planning chief Anita Laremont to join Fried Frank
Jay and Stuart Podolsky with the Marcel in Gramercy at 201 East 24th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Controversial Podolsky brothers ink more city business
Controversial Podolsky brothers ink more city business
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...