Government Briefs

City announces updated affordable housing plan
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his plans to pour another $1 billion into an affordable housing buildup effort during a recent talk at New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. During the speech, made at the school’s inaugural event for its new Institute for Affordable Housing Policy, Bloomberg said the majority of the funding would come from reserves in the city’s Housing Development Corporation, rather than from additional tax revenue. While the city plans to create or preserve 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014, only about 100,000 have been created or saved so far, including 12,500 last year.

Cuomo reaches tenant-friendly settlement withVantage
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s settlement agreement announced last month not only forced landlord Vantage Properties to pay $1 million, but put all residential landlords on notice that the state’s top law enforcement officer wants property owners to be more tenant-friendly than the law demands. The deal struck with Vantage forces the controversial landlord to adhere to a three-year oversight program that will force the company to stop serving what Cuomo described as baseless legal notices and frivolous Housing Court actions, he said in a statement. Cuomo was prepared to sue Vantage over the company’s alleged harassment of tenants following an investigation of the company, he said.

Zuckerman said to be considering senate run
Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman of Boston Properties and publisher of the Daily News, is mulling a possible senate bid, according to the New York Times. Zuckerman, a known Democrat, would be angling for the seat currently occupied by Kirstein Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the post. Although Zuckerman’s possible candidacy has been kept hush-hush, inside sources said he’s considering using a poll to test popular support. If he does choose to run, Zuckerman may not be the only Democrat angling for Gillibrand’s seat — Harold Ford Jr., a former congressman from Tennessee, has been widely thought to be launching a campaign soon.

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Moynihan Station rendering

Moynihan secures $83M in stimulus funds
The stalled Moynihan Station project last month received $83.3 million in federal stimulus cash, according to DNA Info, enough to round out the funding needed for the first phase of construction. The project, which will transform the post office adjacent to Penn Station into a rail hub, has already accrued $140 million in funds from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and federal agencies. The first phase will include rail construction and renovations to Penn Station. The second phase, for which funding has not yet been acquired, will involve the renovation of the post office as a travel hub.

Bloomberg unveils Coney Island expansion plans
Mayor Bloomberg and Central Amusement International last month unveiled the new Coney Island expansion plan for summer 2010, which includes the addition of 23 new rides. CAI, which was recently tapped to lease the site from the city and operate the amusement park, has signed a 10-year deal with the city and plans to invest about $30 million in the park, according to the mayor’s office. The first portion of the incremental expansion will be called Luna Park at Coney Island, which will include 19 of the 23 new rides, while the second portion of the expansion project is set to open in summer 2011. The total Coney Island expansion is expected to create 300 full- and part-time jobs by 2011.