New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing development must seek a better balance between market rate and affordable housing. Pioneers who have built our neighborhoods must not be forced to leave because they are victims of their own success, their housing should remain affordable so that they may realize the fruits of their labor.<br><br>As former Chief of Staff for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/apartment/mitchell-lama.shtml&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Mitchell-Lama</strong></a>&nbsp;Subcommittee Chair,&nbsp;<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/ad=073&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Assemblyman Jonathan L. Bing</strong></a>, I know the current issues facing affordable housing. I had the opportunity to work on the next generation of progressive&nbsp;<a href="http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/bn=A00860&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>legislation</strong></a>&nbsp;that would scale certain rent regulations to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/CPI/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>consumer price index</strong></a>, so that new laws are always current and housing remains affordable for generations to come. But there is more to do and as your City Council member I will continue this work by reforming rent regulation, using market indices like the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/CPI/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>consumer price index</strong></a>, and expanding affordable housing.<br><br>In addition to fixing affordable housing and rent regulation laws, we must also create a centralized affordable housing resource. Affordable housing must be&nbsp;<strong>transparent</strong>, with easily accessible and searchable lists by address and qualification, rather than having to search through over a dozen different programs and agencies. We must&nbsp;<strong>open</strong>&nbsp;affordable housing by creating an easy centralized application process. Lastly, the waiting lists for all affordable housing must be publicly available to provide&nbsp;<strong>accountability</strong>&nbsp;where these waiting lists have been previously abused.

The Real Deal Midtown East condo tower could face big height cut following court order on 200 Amsterdam by Staff

Midtown East condo tower could face big height cut following court order on 200 Amsterdam

From left: 200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos and 430 East 58th Street (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Council member seeks to halve height of 430 West 58th Street

Last Thursday, a judge issued an extraordinary court order requiring the deconstruction of 20-some floors on a Upper West Side condo tower. While the developers have already announced plans to appeal, the decision has renewed hopes for opponents of similar supertall towers elsewhere in Manhattan.

City Council Member Ben Kallos, whose district covers much of Midtown East and the Upper East Side, told the New York Post that his office is going to file a motion to reargue a zoning exemption for Gamma Real Estate’s 430 East 58th Street, using the UWS decision as a basis.

“We’re relying on the judiciary to enforce the law even if the Department of Buildings or the developers don’t think it applies to them,” Kallos said. The council member would like to see the condo tower’s height reduced from 847 feet to less than 400, an even more drastic reduction than that facing 200 Amsterdam Avenue.

Grand Haven Tribune Odd News: 2 condos converted into 18 micro apartments by Bill Chappell

Odd News: 2 condos converted into 18 micro apartments

NEW YORK — Two Manhattan landlords took an unusual — and illegal — route to double their rentable space: cutting their two condos in half horizontally so they could rent out 18 tiny apartments in their Lower East Side building, according to the New York City Department of Buildings.

"The ceiling heights were 4.5 feet to 6 feet tall on each level, depending on where you were standing," Department of Buildings spokesperson Abigail Kunitz said in an email to NPR.

New York Daily News Cuomo to probe NYC’s biggest homeless services provider after Daily News exposé by Michael Gartland

Cuomo to probe NYC’s biggest homeless services provider after Daily News exposé

The Acacia Network — the scandal-plagued non-profit that raked in $183 million in city contracts in 2019 alone — is facing another investigation.

Gov. Cuomo announced the latest probe Tuesday after the Daily News exposed Acacia for demanding a mother of three stop calling the city’s 311 complaint line if she wanted to renew her lease in a squalid Bronx apartment.

New York Times ‘It Was Horrible’: Man Killed In Gruesome Brawl at Homeless Shelter by CHRISTINA GOLDBAUM

‘It Was Horrible’: Man Killed In Gruesome Brawl at Homeless Shelter

“There is a real problem here and we need to do something before another life is lost,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, chairman of the City Council’s contracting committee. Mr. Kallos, a Democrat, says he plans to call on Monday for a Council hearing regarding Acacia’s practices. “One of the hardest problems is that the people in these shelters and making these reports are those who the system and society might not treat as credible,” Mr. Kallos said. “But in light of what happened yesterday, that seems less and less the case.”

 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Housing Works employees protest, claiming harassment and union-busting tactics by Mary Frost

Housing Works employees protest, claiming harassment and union-busting tactics

Manhattan Councilmember Ben Kallos said, “It says something that the number one demand is caseload.” The average pay of Housing Works employees is $16.23, he noted, “Too close to the minimum wage.” He also listed “No clear grievance process and concern about a safe work environment” as good reasons to unionize.

The Real Deal NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030? by Erin Hudson

NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030?

Last week, Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos introduced a bill mandating evaluation of the system in 2030. The idea is to prevent it from becoming warped over time, as has occurred since the last major change was made four decades ago.

The law would create a commission appointed by the mayor and speaker to analyze the system in terms of “equity, efficiency, transparency, ease of administration, and compliance.” It would be required to hold two public hearings and issue a report with an analysis and recommendations by November 2030. The process would repeat every 15 years.