Council to Vote on Legislation Making Affordable Housing Fairer for All New Yorkers

Council will also vote on several bills establishing penalties for littering

City Hall — Today, the Council will vote on legislation that will make affordable housing fairer for all New Yorkers. The Council will also vote to co-name 95 thoroughfares and public places, based on requests of Council Members whose district includes the location, and on several bills establishing penalties for littering. Finally, the Council will vote on several land use items.

Making Affordable Housing Fairer

Requiring the Development of a Fair Affordable Housing Plan
Introduction 601-A
, sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson, would require the City to report annually on implementation of an affordable housing plan with specificity, including the number of units targeted to be created or preserved in each year and the number of units that were actually created or preserved in the preceding year in each neighborhood tabulation area. This legislation would also require the City to also provide a summary of the current demand for affordable housing and a description of obstacles to fulfilling that demand.

Requiring the Audit of Expiring Affordable Housing Units
Introduction 722-A
, sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to create a tracking system for start and expiration dates for all department regulatory agreements and affordability requirements. HPD is required to report on a plan to implement such tracking system and to report annually on the progress of creation of the implementation plan.

“Without a doubt, our City is currently facing an affordable housing crisis but, as legislators, it is our duty to make access to affordable housing easier for all New Yorkers. Introductions 601-A and 722-A would enforce a fairer system when it comes to planning for affordable housing and thus, make the process more transparent and convenient for residents. I thank my colleagues in the Council for their support on this legislation,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

Requiring City Affordable Housing Plans Address Historic Patterns of Racial Segregation
Introduction 607-A
, sponsored by Council Member Donovan Richards, would require the City to include measures to affirmatively further fair housing in its report on creation or preservation of affordable housing.

“As we work to desegregate our schools, we must be mindful of the direct impact housing has on separating New Yorkers by race, particularly in the classroom. While our trains, buses and workplaces are the most diverse in the world, our schools, homes and neighborhoods are the most divided. Int. 607-a requires a comprehensive housing plan to break down racial barriers, so we can finally begin to address all of the systemic factors that have led to a lack of resources for schools, jobs and public amenities in communities of color across the City. Every child should get to experience the beauty and uniqueness of the hundreds of different cultures spread out across the five boroughs and learn the importance of valuing different races and ethnicities firsthand. I’d like to thank Speaker Johnson for leading the fight for fair housing in New York City and his support on this legislation,” said Council Member Donovan Richards.

Enforcing a Cleaner City

Increasing Enforcement against Littering
Introduction 851
, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would mandate that the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) create a plan for increasing enforcement against littering from vehicles in areas where such littering has been shown to be an issue.

Permitting DSNY to Share Evidence of Unlawful Dumping
Introduction 655-A
, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would enhance the Department of Sanitation’s ability to enforce prohibitions on unauthorized dumping by allowing it to use identifying information found among unlawfully dumped materials as evidence of the identity of the person doing the dumping.

Increasing Penalties for Littering from a Vehicle
Introduction 850-A
, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would increase the civil penalties for littering from a vehicle to $200 for a first violation (up from $100), $350 for a second violation in a 12-month period (up from $250), and $450 for a third or subsequent violation in a 12-month period (up from $350).

Adjusting Penalties for Littering
Introduction 203-B
, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would raise the penalties for public littering for the second violation within a 12 month period to $300 (up from $250) and the third violation within a 12 month period to $400 (up from $350). The bill would not change the penalty for a first violation (it remains at $75).

“Litter and garbage in our streets and sidewalks, our parks and our public spaces is not just an aesthetic problem – it damages our environment, hurts local businesses, drains our financial resources and erodes our quality of life. It is a multifaceted problem that requires a multifaceted response. That is why I helped create the NYC Cleanup initiative when I entered the Council four years ago, to tackle this problem head on. And it is the impetus behind this package of legislation I introduced, and we are passing today. These bills will help us create better enforcement strategies to tackle “littering hotspots;” increase fines to deter persistent litter offenders; specifically address those litterjerks who toss garbage from their cars; and provide Sanitation with the tools it needs to really tackle illegal dumping,” said Minority Leader Steven Matteo. “I want to thank Sanitation Chair Antonio Reynoso and Speaker Corey Johnson for their support on these bills and for working with me on this very important issue.”

Raising Criminal Penalties for Unlawful Commercial Dumping
Introduction 656-A
, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would raise the criminal penalties for unlawful commercial dumping. It also raises the civil penalties for unlawful dumping to $4,000 for a first violation (up from $1,500), to $9,000 for a second violation in an 18-month period (up from $5,000), and to $18,000 for a third or subsequent violation in an 18-month period (up from $10,000). The bill also sets the criminal fines at $4,000 for a first violation and $9,000 for a second violation.

“Unlawful dumping and the improper use of public litter baskets are two nagging quality-of-life issues that have been especially troublesome for my Southeast Queens constituents,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “Mounds of waste are routinely left on our streets and sidewalks to fester, attracting vermin and causing even more dumping. As a key component of this body’s Rat Mitigation Package, Introduction 656 will stiffen the current penalties for these offenses and close loopholes exploited in the past to avoid enforcement efforts, sending a clear message that there will be steep consequences for those who dump their garbage wherever they please, as well as encourage our neighbors to be accountable for the cleanliness of our community. I thank my colleagues, including Sanitation and Solid Waste Chair Anthony Reynoso and Speaker Corey Johnson, for their support in securing the passage of this important measure.”

Naming Public Places Throughout the City

Co-Naming 95 Thoroughfares and Public Places, Based On Requests of Council Members Whose District Includes the Location
Introduction 988
, sponsored by Speaker Corey Johnson, and Council Members Alicka Ampry- Samuel, Diana Ayala, Joseph Borelli, Margaret Chin, Andrew Cohen, Costa Constantinides, Laurie Cumbo, Chaim Deutsch, Rafael Espinal, Vanessa Gibson, Mark Gjonaj, Barry Grodenchik, Robert Holden, Andy King, Karen Koslowitz, Stephen Levin, Alan Maisel, Steven Matteo, Carlos Menchaca, I. Daneek Miller, Francisco Moya, Bill Perkins, Keith Powers, Antonio Reynoso, Donovan Richards, Carlina Rivera, Ydanis Rodriguez, Deborah Rose, Helen Rosenthal, Rafael Salamanca, Ritchie Torres, Eric Ulrich, James Van Bramer and Jumaane Williams, would co-name 95 thoroughfares and public places, based on requests of Council Members whose district includes the location. Of these 95 co-names, 7 are either a relocation of a previously enacted co-naming or a revision to the street sign installed with respect to a previously enacted co-naming.

The City Council will also vote on the following land use items

45 Broad Street Subway Improvement

The Council is approving with modifications an application for a grant of a special permit to make important transit improvements to the Broad Street J/Z station and the Wall Street 4/5 Station to facilitate the development of mixed-use building in Council Member Chin’s district.

The proposed improvements include installation of two new elevators and replacement of existing turnstiles to the new Automatic Fare Control turnstiles in the Broad Street J/Z subway and the Wall Street 4/5 subway stations. The installation of two elevators, one to the Southbound and another to the Northbound, will make the Broad Street Station fully ADA accessible and one of the only six accessible entry points along a subway line that stretches from Lower Manhattan to Jamaica, Queens.

Replacement of existing turnstiles to the new Automatic Fare Controls to both Broad Street and Wall Street stations will enhance ingress and egress to and from each station preventing queues that form during rush hour.

The proposed development would contain offices and commercial uses on the first ten floors and approximately 206 residential units above, the Council’s modifications include requiring designation of the location of the bonus floor area and to provide additional signage to direct users of the new elevators as well as to clarify and make minor technical corrections to the Restrictive Declaration.

Block 675
The Council is approving two applications part of the Block 675 redevelopment: 601 West 29th Street submitted by Douglaston Development and 606 West 30th Street submitted Lalezarian Properties. Together both applications propose to contribute in the total amount of $52,000,000 (Fifty-Two Million Dollars) for the completion of Hudson River Park (HRP) improvements in exchange for transferring unused development rights from Piers 59, 60, and 61 to facilitate the redevelopment of portions of Block 675.

These applications are in Speaker Corey Johnson’s district.

For 601 West 29th Street, the Council is approving with modifications a series of land use applications to facilitate the redevelopment of 601 West 29th Street with a mixed-use residential and commercial building, including up to 298 permanently affordable housing units and a permanent New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Services facility for the west side of Manhattan.

Council’s modifications include reducing the maximum tower height of the Douglaston Development tower to 591’, securing $4 million in additional funding to facilitate the completion of park improvements between West 32nd and West 34th Streets, and designating open space funds to Chelsea Park, and, if ACS determines its feasible, allocating distribution of vouchers for child care mitigations for use at day care facilities within the community district.

142-150 South Portland Avenue
The Council will vote to approve with modifications an application by South Portland LLC (a partnership of MDG Development Group and the Hanson Place Seventh-day Adventist Church) for a rezoning from R7A to R8A to facilitate the development of a 13-story building with 100 affordable housing units and 18,000 square feet of community facility space for social services, health services, and general community programming. The Council is modifying the application to restrict this rezoning to the Church’s proposed development site and allow only MIH Option 1, in Council Member Laurie Cumbo’s district.

180 Avenue of the Americas
The Council is approving an application submitted by QT Soho Realty LLC for a zoning map amendment to change from an existing C1-5 commercial overlay to a C2-5 commercial overlay along portions of Avenue of the Americas and Spring Street on Block 504. The proposed C2-5 commercial overlay would only allow a slightly wider range of uses, including dance studios, and also make buildings in this district eligible to apply for a permit to operate a gym. This application is in Speaker Corey Johnson’s district.

1568 Broadway Text Amendment
The Council is approving an application submitted by Time Square Hotel Owner, LLC for a zoning text amendment to allow modification of existing signage requirements and allow certain entertainment uses to be located behind such signage within the Theater Subdistrict Core. The proposed text amendment would facilitate the full renovation of the Palace Theater, an interior landmark designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1987. This application is in Council Member Keith Powers’ district.

85 Mercer Street
The Council is approving an application submitted by Zhongyin Apparel LLC for a use waiver to allow retail uses on portions of ground floor and cellar of an existing 5-story building located at 85 Mercer Street in Council Member Margaret Chin’s district.

95 Madison Avenue
The Council is approving the landmark designation of 95 Madison Avenue (The Emmet Building) (Block 858, Lot 58), in Council Member Carlina Rivera’s district.

Hotel Seville
The Council is approving the landmark designation of Hotel Seville, now known as the James NoMad Hotel, located at 22 East 29th Street (Block 858, Lot 17), in Council Member Keith Power’s district.

PS 109
The Council will vote to approve the landmark designation of PS 109 (now El Barrio’s Artspace PS109), located in Council Member Diana Ayala’s district.

Benjamin Franklin High School
The Council will vote to approve the landmark designation of the Benjamin Franklin High School (now Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics), located in Council Member Diana Ayala’s district.

Richard Webber Harlem Packing House
The Council will vote to approve the landmark designation of the Richard Webber Harlem Packing House, located in Council Member Diana Ayala’s district.

Dr. Maurice T. Lewis House
The Council will vote to approve the Dr. Maurice T. Lewis House, located at 404 55th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, in Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s district, as an historic landmark.

The Dime Savings Bank of WilliamsburghThe Council will vote to approve the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh located 209 Havemeyer Street in Southside Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in Council Member Antonio Reynoso’s district, as an historic landmark.

East Village I
The Council is approving an Article XI 40-year partial tax exemption for the East Village I (conveyance of property to construct a new multiple dwelling containing 11 rental housing units, and an approval to modify the previously approved Article V Plan and Project, in Council Member Rivera’s district.

East Village II
The Council is approving an l Article XI 40-year partial tax exemption for the East Village II , approval of the conveyance property to construct a new multiple dwelling containing 23 rental housing units, and an approval modify the previously approved Article V Plan and Project, in Council Member Carlina Rivera’s district.

La Cabana
The Council will vote to approve an application by NYC HPD for three related actions in order to facilitate new mixed-income development at the La Cabana properties in Southside Williamsburg and the long-term preservation of affordability of the existing Section 8 units.

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