The Daily Dirt: City to pay for homeless residents in luxury rentals

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

Feb.February 20, 2020 12:53 PM
A rendering of The Dime at 209 Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn (Credit: Fogarty Finger)

A rendering of The Dime at 209 Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn (Credit: Fogarty Finger)

Got a vacant luxury rental? The city could start filling up those units for you.

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development aims to force some landlords to house homeless families, Bloomberg reports. Developers who have received tax breaks for buildings but are unable to rent all the affordable apartments in them will have to fill the vacant units with homeless families.

The city will foot the bill. According to the city, as of Friday some 200 vacant units would fall under this new program.

“This administration is identifying new and creative ways to combat homelessness,” HPD spokesperson Matthew Creegan told Bloomberg. “We saw an opportunity to provide high-quality permanent housing to some of our homeless neighbors, and we’re seizing it.”

The units in these buildings most likely to be unfilled by affordable housing lotteries are those set aside for individuals making up to $97,110 and families of three with a combined income of $124,930.

Late last year the City Council passed a bill that requires city-funded projects of 41 units or more to set aside 15 percent of them for homeless individuals.

Zillow saw its revenue double in 2019. It has iBuying to thank.

The company’s revenue jumped to $2.7 billion, E.B. Solomont reports. Much of that can be attributed to Zillow’s Homes segment, which saw revenue climb to $1.365 billion in 2019, from just $52.4 million in 2018. CEO Rich Barton called 2019 “tumultuously remarkable.” Zillow still recorded a $305.4 million loss last year.

“We ended 2019 in a much stronger position than we started,” Barton wrote in a shareholder letter. “The past year has been transformational for our company as we began a multi-year journey to replatform real estate in favor of our customers.”

What we’re thinking about: If you’re watching the Democratic presidential debate tonight, you’re at least an hour in. What do you think so far? If you’re reading this newsletter Thursday, what did you think of the debate? Do you care? Send a note to [email protected].


Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Wednesday was for a condo unit at 155 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village at $16.3 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for a 14-building portfolio in Upper Manhattan, at $74 million. Tune in tomorrow for details.


The largest new building filing of the day was for a 16,530-square-foot residential building at 941 57th Street in Borough Park. David Chen filed the permit application.


The priciest residential listing to hit the market Wednesday was for a townhouse at 162 East 93rd Street in Carnegie Hill, at $6.4 million. Leslie J. Garfield’s Jed Garfield has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

One of Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds, Temasek Holdings, doesn’t like to be called a sovereign wealth fund — it prefers an “investment company headquartered in Singapore.” Most observers, though, consider it a sovereign wealth fund. ‾\_(ツ)_/‾ Thank you to Kevin Sun for this tidbit.

Elsewhere in New York

— Citi Bike says it has fixed a braking issue that plagued its fleet of electric bikes, which was pulled last April, the New York Post reports. The pedal-powered e-bikes returned to city streets Wednesday.

— In less than two weeks, the state’s ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect. New Yorkers and store employees aren’t quite sure how the ban will roll out, the City reports.

— Back in 1974, the MTA debuted carpeted cars with plush seating, according to Gothamist. Yes, carpeted. Luckily, the more important “futuristic” elements of these cars — including air conditioning, large windows and “a less jolty ride” — were the ones that stuck.

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