Tight economy causes sharp decline in residential building permits

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The New York City Department of Buildings issued residential permits for only 6,057 units in 1,014 buildings in 2009, marking an 82 percent drop from the number issued in 2008, when DOB granted permits for 33,911 units in 2,434 buildings. Declines in the number of permits issued were most pronounced in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which saw drops of 86 percent and 92 percent, respectively, according to DOB data. Richard Anderson, president of the New York City Building Congress, said the decline wasn’t due to a tightening of regulations in the DOB but was caused by a slowdown in overall residential construction. “These numbers only serve to confirm what we have been hearing from contractors and union labor representatives for quite some time,” Anderson said. “Right now, the demand, and thus the financing, has not been sufficient enough to start new residential projects.” TRD

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