Approves bill to support nontraditional employment for women and gender non-conforming workers; Bronx Bruckner rezoning to produce 300+ units of housing, over half affordable
City Hall, NY – Today, the Council passed a historic legislative package making child care services more accessible in New York City. The legislation addresses systemic issues with child care, establishing a provider directory, a pilot grant program, and planning processes to advance access across the City. Child care is essential for families to ensure their children receive quality care and working parents can succeed in the workforce. Child care is one of the biggest challenges for working women, who experienced some of the greatest job losses from COVID. Nationally, there are approximately 225,000 more men in the labor force than before the pandemic, but 427,000 fewer women. The child care crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic with the cost of care only increasing. According to a report by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, by late January 2021, an estimated 519,000 New Yorkers were not working due to taking care of a child at home. This legislative package is the latest set of bills passed by the City’s first women-majority Council, led by the first Black Speaker and first mother and grandmother in the position.
“Child care remains one of the biggest challenges for working women and families across New York City,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Expanding affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care on a universal basis has always been a top priority for this Council. With the passage of this unprecedented legislative package, our city will help families get the care they need for their children while boosting our economy and recovery. Our historic women-majority Council is demonstrating yet again that when women lead and prioritize solutions, our families and communities benefit.”
The child care legislative package is as follows:
Introduction 242-A, sponsored by Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, would require the creation of a Marshall Plan for Moms task force to study and develop recommendations on how to support working mothers and caregivers. The task force would be required to submit a report with recommendations within one year of the task force’s convening.
“Women who leave the workforce to care for their children will lose more than $480k in their lifetime, money families desperately need. New York City is in the midst of a childcare crisis, which means that women and caregivers are experiencing an economic crisis,” said Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez. “While this package of bills does not solve all of the problems parents and providers face today, they are a signal to the City and the administration that this Council is serious about addressing the economy of care and is taking the first steps towards a true vision of universal childcare.”
Introduction 477-A, sponsored by Council Member Crystal Hudson, would establish a child care task force to examine how to make child care more affordable and accessible for families in the city, and how to provide additional support and funding to child care providers and workers. The task force would be required to submit a report that includes recommendations for making child care in the city more affordable and accessible.
“The prohibitive costs of child care hurt our communities, stifling the growth of local economies, hindering our efforts to close the gender wage gap, and preventing our youngest students from receiving vital early childhood education,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “With the passage of Int. 477, we’re taking a historic step toward guaranteeing child care for all and meaningfully and tangibly addressing the lingering effects of the pandemic felt disproportionately by women –– and women of color, in particular –– across the five boroughs. Universal child care will help narrow this persistent gap, ushering more women back into the workforce and ensuring parents do not have to choose between their families and their careers. As part of my Black Agenda for New York City, I called for a universal childcare system in New York City. And I’m proud to have delivered on that promise and worked to ensure the Council follows through as well.”
Introduction 485-A, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to coordinate with the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT) to create a directory of child care programs in the city, including a link to information about child day cares run by the State that are located in the City. The directory would be available in the designated citywide languages.
Introduction 486-A, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would establish a Child Care Advisory Board, which would be responsible for conducting studies on and issuing reports related to child care in the city, including providing an annual assessment of the needs of child care programs in the city, and the City’s progress towards providing universal child care.
Introduction 487-A, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would require the Administration to create an online portal that provides information on child care subsidies. The portal would allow a user to access information about subsidies including eligibility requirements, and instructions on how to apply, based on information provided by the user. The portal would also include the forms needed to apply for each subsidy, including any electronic forms available that may be submitted online through the portal. The portal would be available in the designated citywide languages.
Introduction 488-A, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would require the Administration to create a child care grant pilot program for child care programs in the city in need of assistance. To be eligible, a child care program would need to be at significant risk of closure or displacement, and meet application and other requirements established by the administering agency. The Administration would be required to submit an annual report to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council on grants awarded pursuant to the program, and recommendations for expansion.
Introduction 489-A, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would require DOHMH to develop guidance for owners of real property regarding the facility requirements for a child care program and make such guidance available on its website. The guidance would also be required to indicate that property owners may be eligible for a tax abatement if they meet certain requirements pursuant to state law.
Resolution 69, sponsored by Council Member Julie Menin, would call upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation supporting the provision of financial assistance to families and child care providers to make child care more accessible and affordable.
“Today is a historic moment where we are passing the Universal Childcare Act which will make New York City the first city in the country to implement universal child care. Over 375,000 workers have been pushed out of the workforce in recent years because they can’t afford childcare and this is completely unacceptable,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “As a mother of four, I am thrilled that Speaker Adams has advanced my package of childcare bills for today’s vote. New York City is setting a precedent across the nation that Universal Childcare will be realized and that parents will no longer have to choose between their job and child care.”
The Council also passed Introduction 179-A, sponsored by Council Member Francisco Moya. This bill would require an office designated by the Mayor to submit to the Council and publish online a report containing information about the role of women and gender non-binary, non-conforming, and intersex workers in nontraditional careers no later than July 1, 2023. This report would review the role of women and gender non-binary, non-confirming and intersex workers in nontraditional careers, which would encompass industries that have traditionally hired a higher proportion of male employees, including the construction, utility, maintenance, green and transportation industries. The report would be developed in consultation with various city agencies, individuals who are currently employed in a nontraditional workplace, who work at unions or organizations conducting relevant work or research and at least one representative from a university or similar academic institution with academic experience and expertise in the study and analysis of labor markets and policy.
The Council also passed the following:
2080 McDonald Avenue Rezoning – The Jackson Group seeks a zoning map amendment to rezone the north and south sides of Avenue S between McDonald Avenue and Lake Street from M1-1 and R5B to C4-4L and related zoning text amendment to designate a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area in Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution (Option 1 and 2). These actions would facilitate the development of a proposed new eight-story, approximately 120,625 sq. ft. mixed use building to include 66 housing units; approximately 22 affordable under MIH, 67 parking spaces, 3,953sq ft. of community facility space and 18,783 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space. The Council is modifying the application to remove the sites south of Avenue S from the rezoning area (this portion is within Council Member Ari Kagan’s district), in Council Members Kalman Yeger’s district.
Bruckner Sites Rezoning – The Throggs Neck Associates, LLC seeks a zoning map amendment from existing R4A/C1-2, R4A, R4-1/C2-4 and R4-1 districts to R6A/C2-4 and R6A districts from existing R4-1 district to R5B district and a related zoning text amendment to modify Appendix F of the zoning resolution to map a new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing area. These actions would facilitate the development of 4 new mixed-use buildings. It will include a total of 349 housing units; 98 permanently affordable under MIH, 99 income-restricted units for seniors (including 30 of the permanently affordable units under MIH), and 25 units for veterans; 309 parking spaces, a grocery store, senior center, youth community center, retail, and veterans’ services, in Council Member Marjorie Velázquez’s district.
705 Tenth Avenue – DEP Site – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) proposes an urban development action area program and tax exemption application to facilitate the development of a new eight-story mixed-use building with approximately 157 affordable housing units, ground-floor community facility, and an open space area to be operated by the New York City Department of Parks, in Council Member Erik Bottcher’s district.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of Cambria Heights 222nd and 227th Streets Historic Districts – a remarkably cohesive and distinctive group of row houses built in the Storybook style, in Council Member Nantasha Williams’ district.
78-46 Metropolitan Avenue Rezoning – Dr. Robert Thomas requests approval of a zoning map amendment from the existing R5 zoning district to an R5D/C2-3 zoning district in the Middle Village neighborhood in Queens. These actions will facilitate the enlargement of an existing one-story building with two additional stories, two housing units and a veterinary medicine office located on the ground floor, in Council Member Robert F. Holden’s district.
79-18 164th Street Rezoning – Dr. Mikhail Kantius proposes a zoning map amendment to rezone seven lots, including the applicant’s property at 79-18 164th Street, in the Hillcrest neighborhood in Queens. A portion of the rezoned area would change from an R4/C1-3 zoning district to an R4/C2-3 zoning district, and another portion would change from R5D/C1-3 to R5D/C2-3. These actionswill facilitate a commercial overlay that will increase the commercial retail in the area and bring an existing nonconforming medical laboratory into conformance with the zoning, in Council Member James F. Gennaro’s district.
40-25 Crescent Street Rezoning – Crescent Street Associates, LLC, seeks a zoning map amendment and zoning text amendment to rezone an existing M1-2/R5B District to a M1-2/R6A District, and to establish a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area (MIH) in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. These actions would facilitate a new seven-story mixed-used building to include 233 housing units, including approximately 60 affordable under MIH, ground floor commercial space, and ground floor industrial space for the Rosenwach Tank Company, the current owner of the site. The Council is modifying the application to strike MIH Option 2 and add the Deep Affordability Option, in Council Member Julie Won’s district.
Proposed Introduction 655-A, sponsored by Council Members Justin Brannan and Lincoln Restler, would authorize an increase in annual expenditures by three Business Improvement Districts:
- The Fifth Avenue Association
- The Columbus-Amsterdam BID
- The Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID