The Daily Dirt: Council members seek infusion of affordable housing money

City waiting on Albany to boost housing stock

From left: Kathy Hochul, Council member Pierina Sanchez and HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión (Getty)
From left: Kathy Hochul, Council member Pierina Sanchez and HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión (Getty)

Insurance costs have “exploded.” The state budget is up in the air. The city is considering its options. 

We may start running out of names for housing initiatives. Last year we had the Housing Compact and the “housing moonshot.” This year there’s the “housing league” and the “Yes to Housing” coalition.

Ahead of a budget hearing Monday, the City Council’s progressive caucus launched another campaign, “Homes Now, Homes for Generations,” calling for the city to invest $2 billion more in capital funding over the next four years to create permanently affordable housing.

The campaign wants to increase funding for the city’s Open Doors program, which funds limited equity co-ops, and the city’s Neighborhood Pillars, which provides low-interest loans and tax exemptions to nonprofits buying rent-stabilized and free-market buildings. The program is inactive but the city’s housing agency is working to reboot it.

Adolfo Carrión, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said the agency would be open to receiving more resources to tackle the city’s housing crisis, but that action at the state level is still needed.

“We can’t win this fight without changes at the city and state levels,” he said.

During the budget hearing, Carrión acknowledged that the city is considering captive insurance companies as a way to help landlords curb rising premiums. When asked by Council member Pierina Sanchez, who chairs the Housing and Buildings Committee, if HPD is in talks with affordable housing providers, Carrión said there were “active discussions.”

He also mentioned an insurance collective created by a group of property owners last year. Details on the city’s involvement in adding insurance options for building owners were not immediately available.

All of this was happening as news of the legislature’s one-house budget resolutions trickled out of Albany. The Senate is reportedly pushing a Mitchell-Lama 2.0 program, but it is unclear how many units that could create. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates on what policies are included in the resolutions.

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A thing we’ve learned:  As of the third quarter of last year, 57 percent of New York Community Bank’s loans were in commercial real estate. That is by far the highest share among large banks in the U.S., according to Visual Capitalist. Thank you to Holden Walter-Warner for flagging this!

Elsewhere in New York…

 — Two of the city’s most prominent charities, Robin Hood and the New York Community Trust, are raising money to aid the city’s response to the migrant crisis, Gothamist reports. New York Community Trust, along with members of the Adams administration, met on Monday with members of the philanthropic and business community at the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s headquarters.

— A 35-year-old man faces an attempted murder charge after pushing his girlfriend onto the tracks at Fulton Station, according to police. As a result of the incident, the woman’s feet were amputated, the New York Times reports. Christian Valdez was also charged with felony assault.

— As part of the state budget, Orange County residents may be added to the list of drivers who get a break from congestion pricing when crossing the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Times Union reports. Rockland and Westchester county residents already get a 20 percent discount on the former Tappan Zee Bridge.

Residential: The priciest sale on Monday was $17 million for a 3,150-square-foot condominium at 15 Central Park West in Lincoln Square.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $76.5 million for a 166,800-square-foot development site lot at 459 Smith Street in Gowanus.

New to the Market: The priciest residential property to hit the market on Monday was 

$65 million for a townhome at 15 East 63rd Street in Lenox Hill. It was once the headquarters of fashion designer Oleg Cassini. Louise C. Beit of Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.

Breaking Ground: The largest new building filing of the day was a 227,000-square-foot mixed-use building 498 Columbia Street in Red Hook. Permits were filed by Ariel Aufgang. — Matthew Elo