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
Lexington Hotel at 511 Lexington Avenue (Google Maps)
NYC hotels getting busier, but still struggling
NYC hotels getting busier, but still struggling
The tenants who won the affordable housing lottery at 15 Hudson Yards say the units are in an “entirely separate part of the building and with a different address.” (Hudson Yards, District Court of New York)
Lawsuit claims 15 Hudson Yards discriminates with “poor doors”
Lawsuit claims 15 Hudson Yards discriminates with “poor doors”
Council members call out City Planning on Soho rezoning
Council members call out City Planning on Soho rezoning
Council members call out City Planning on Soho rezoning
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, around 11.5 million Americans were behind on rent last month. (Getty)
Four landlords allegedly pushed out 5,000 renters during moratorium
Four landlords allegedly pushed out 5,000 renters during moratorium
Democrats look to curtail tax break for “pass-through” businesses
Democrats look to curtail tax break for “pass-through” businesses
Democrats look to curtail tax break for “pass-through” businesses
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Surfside condo (Getty, iStock)
After Surfside, NY state lawmakers call for tighter inspection protocols
After Surfside, NY state lawmakers call for tighter inspection protocols
Policy change puts $20 a month in home refinancers’ pockets
Policy change puts $20 a month in home refinancers’ pockets
Policy change puts $20 a month in home refinancers’ pockets
Rent law, then Covid leaves family landlord with no choice but to sell
Rent law, Covid leave family landlord with one choice: sell
Rent law, Covid leave family landlord with one choice: sell
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...