Heat sensor bill inspired by deadly Bronx fire not enough, tenants say

A year after an electric space heater ignited a blaze that killed 17 people in a Bronx apartment building, the New York City Council is considering a bill mandating heat sensors in buildings whose residents complain of low temperatures. The proposal, intended to prevent fires like the one at the Twin Parks North West complex in Fordham Heights, would fine landlords up to $1,000 for each day a building’s temperature failed to hit the city-mandated

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Housing solution: “Pay” pols who approve projects

Among the first things I learned as a New Jersey reporter was an odd word: ratables. It came up when towns considered development proposals. Ratables is a Jersey euphemism for property taxes. Local officials always wanted to know how much money a project would add to their coffers — and how much it would take out. Housing was viewed as a net loser. Electeds thought it would cost more to educate new residents’ children than

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Council speaker’s plan attacks housing crisis from every angle

The gig may be up for Nimbys in rich neighborhoods. City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Thursday announced a sweeping housing and land use agenda, including specific affordable housing goals for each community district. Her “Fair Housing Framework” will require each community district to set specific targets for housing production and preservation, and consider other community investments and voucher use. It’s a response to wealthy areas’ paltry production of affordable housing — or in some

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How special are these permits? No one got any

Developers forecast that restrictions on hotel development would have a chilling effect. Conditions, so far, are pretty icy. In the 365 days since the city required special permits to build a hotel, not a single application for one has been filed. While building permits have been sought and issued for new hotels, they appear to be for projects exempt from the law or grandfathered under the old rules, according to an analysis of Department of

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Citing Bronx fire, Council pushes building violation crackdown

For years, the New York City Council has demanded stricter penalties for landlords who allow building violations to fester. Now, members of the largely fresh-faced chamber are leveraging a tragic January fire to enact laws to that end. Landlords claim most of the Council’s proposals would saddle cash-strapped, regulation-weary owners with more fees and rules, making it harder for them to address violations. Pierina Ana Sanchez, chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, rooted

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Bill would expose Council members’ rent-stabilized status

A new City Council bill would offer a window into the living arrangements of the chamber’s members, revealing which of them benefit from regulated rents. The legislation, proposed by Council member Robert Holden and referred to the Committee on Standards and Ethics last Tuesday, would require all members to disclose whether their primary residence is a rent-stabilized apartment. The disclosures would be filed with the Conflicts of Interest Board and be available to the public

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5 lessons from Silverstein’s Astoria deal

There’s no how-to book for developers negotiating for City Council approval of their projects. Or for the Council member on the other side of the table. “Ulurp for Dummies”  hasn’t been published because its target audience is only a few dozen developers and 51 term-limited City Council members. In its place, The Real Deal brings you an abridged version, prompted by the big rezoning deal reached Thursday for the Innovation QNS project in Astoria. Our

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Vice squad: Project foes put squeeze on Brooklyn pol

It’s easy to sit at a laptop and solve the housing crisis. To actually do it on the battlefield of city politics is anything but. That is not an excuse for the latest City Council decision to slash apartments from a project proposal. It is, however, a reality-based explanation. Despite the hopes of pro-housing advocates, it was always a fantasy to expect Shahana Hanif, in her first year representing Gowanus and other Brooklyn neighborhoods, to

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Another rezoning gets through, but housing is shrunk

Just because an area is rezoned to encourage affordable housing does not mean it will be built. That is the concern voiced by the City Planning Commission to changes made to a proposed rezoning of Ninth Street in Gowanus negotiated by the local City Council member. The deal saves the rezoning, which faced local opposition, but will result in fewer affordable apartments than proposed — and potentially none at all. The City Council’s Subcommittee on

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When pols ignore past, city pays price

As Santayana famously said, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. More than a few New York City leaders fall into this group. Who can forget when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, state Sen. Mike Gianaris and others beat back Amazon’s HQ2 project in Long Island City, fearing its well-paid workers would outbid New Yorkers for housing? But the opponents did apparently forget — or never experienced — the era when the city

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