The NYC Rent Guidelines Board is considering an increase of 0.75% and 2.75% for one-year lease renewals, and 1.75% to 3.75% for two-year renewals. Tenants packed a public hearing at Hostos Community College on June 11 to tell the nine-member board that that those hikes are too high, and they may not be able to pay them.
The rush is on to develop a 13-acre, state-owned site on the Harlem River waterfront in Port Morris. So far, two ambitious proposals have been leaked to the media—one calling for a soccer stadium and 550 apartments, the other calling for 2,000 units. Both would include retail and community space. But environmental advocates and City Councilwoman Diana Ayala say that neither proposal is good for residents.
On May 14, organizers from Metro IAF affiliate South Bronx Churches led Councilman Rafael Salamanca through two NYCHA apartments in his district that exemplify worst of the city’s public housing, one in Union Avenue Consolidated and the other in Melrose Houses.
Elderly residents of a Mott Haven Mitchell-Lama complex who receive Section 8 subsidies worry that their management company’s plan to switch to online-only billing is part of a ploy to get rid of non tech-savvy tenants like them.
“Rezoning and gentrification are one and the same, and they cause displacement,” said a housing advocate from CASA: Community Action for Safe Apartments. “It hurts my heart to see my community members when they’re crying and have nowhere to go.”
The city’s $32 million war on rats targets what it deems the most rat-infested areas — rat reservoirs — arming them with paved dirt floors, solar-powered trash compactors and a new trash pickup schedule that eliminates bags from sitting out overnight. Since none of the public housing complexes in Bronx 1 are considered rat reservoirs, their remediation is limited to education and recycling programs that some fear won’t solve the problem.
While most New Yorkers waited out record low temperatures from the comfort of their heated homes this holiday season, thousands of NYCHA residents braced against the single digit cold with no such luck.