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.

6sqft Council bill would require NYC developers to disclose relationships with public officials by Devin Gannon

Council bill would require NYC developers to disclose relationships with public officials
Real estate developers would be required to disclose prior relationships with politicians before signing any deals with the city under a new bill being introduced Wednesday by Council Member Ben Kallos. The legislation would also make developers reveal their ownership interests and their Minority Women Business Enterprise status. “Well-connected developers should not be getting sweetheart deals on the taxpayer’s dime,” Kallos said in an email.

The Register 10 Brooklyn families buy million-dollar homes for about 50% off under city program by The Real Deal

10 Brooklyn families buy million-dollar homes for about 50% off under city program

“This is by far the most subsidy I’ve seen on any project,” council member Ben Kallos told the Post; Kallos chairs the city’s subcommittee on planning, dispositions and concessions.

The income range for the qualifying families goes up to $122,070 for a family of three. If the families sell their property in less than 20 years, they will have to reimburse the various government entities for the subsidies.

New York Post 10 NYC families just scored the real-estate deal of the decade by Yoav Gonen

10 NYC families just scored the real-estate deal of the decade

“This is by far the most subsidy I’ve seen on any project,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), chair of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions.

Incomes for the families already in contract on three of the homes are up to $84,510 for a family of three, and up to $122,070 for a family of three on the remaining seven.

Brooklyn real-estate broker Sara Golan said the prices are a steal.

“That is an amazing deal,” Golan, of Nest Seekers International, said of a Grant Avenue home in the program. “I would take that deal any day.”

She said she recently sold a similarly sized house on Throop Street for $1.83 million.

City Land City Council Appoints New Leadership to Committee on Land Use by Dorichel Rodriguez

City Council Appoints New Leadership to Committee on Land Use

Council Member Kallos said: “Affordable housing remains out of reach for too many New Yorkers. As the Administration continues to announce progress on preserving and building new housing, we will watch every deal closely to ensure New Yorkers are actually getting the affordable housing we need. The IBO has questioned whether the city is overstating, or worse, overpaying for affordable housing. I look forward to continuing to fight for affordable housing alongside Speaker Corey Johnson as Chair of the Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions by ensuring every hard-earned tax dollar is maximized to drive a hard bargain and generate significantly more affordable housing. I also plan to ensure this committee empowers communities in the planning process, creates opportunities for minority and women-owned small businesses, and produces a full return on any city land and resources we give up.”

6sqft: New legislation will a create a real-time portal for affordable housing in NYC by Devin Gannon

New legislation will a create a real-time portal for affordable housing in NYC

The goal of the legislation is to make the housing lottery application and search process more efficient and transparent for renters. Applicants would be able to track their application’s progress online and see their place on the waiting lists. By 2021, residents will be able to verify if the rent landlords are charging is legal.

Council Member Benjamin Kallos, who was a lead sponsor on the bill, called Housing Connect “incredibly broken” because it doesn’t match renters with available units. Following the passage of Kallos’ bill, the HPD said it will upgrade and expand the capabilities of their website.

The final version of the bill does help the city enforce rent limits for apartments that are not income-restricted, although Kallos originally hoped to apply it to other rent-regulated units. Aaron Carr of the nonprofit Housing Rights Initiative told the WSJ that renters in rent-stabilized suffer the most under the new bill. “Tens of thousands of units in the buildings receiving those 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Council votes to crack down on cheating landlords by Paula Katinas

Council votes to crack down on cheating landlords

On Tuesday, the Council approved Intro 1015-A, a bill sponsored by Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Jumaane Williams, with input from Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, to hold building owners who receive tax abatements accountable to the city.

Starting in 2020, landlords who aren’t providing affordable apartments after they have received financial windfalls in the form of city financing or tax breaks will be required to register their units with the city.

Wall Street Journal: Bill Seeking Transparency in Affordable Housing Passes New York City Council by Cezary Podkul

Bill Seeking Transparency in Affordable Housing Passes New York City Council

Applicants also would be able to track the progress of their applications and see where they are on waiting lists to rent units, which are awarded by lottery. By 2021, residents also would be able to verify with the city that they are being charged a legal rent.

The legislation is meant to make the application and search process more transparent and efficient, said the bill’s lead sponsor, Council Member Benjamin Kallos.

“I want to make it more like StreetEasy or Zillow,” Mr. Kallos said, referring to the popular housing search websites.

The city already runs a website that helps tenants find income-restricted apartments, NYC Housing Connect, but Mr. Kallos said it is “incredibly broken” because it doesn’t do enough to match tenants with available units.

New York Daily News Construction sites must lower noise during city’s quiet time under new law by Erin Durkin

Construction sites must lower noise during city’s quiet time under new law

Construction done at odd hours will have to turn down the volume under a bill passed by the City Council on Tuesday.

The legislation sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos places stricter limits on construction within 200 feet of a home before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and any time on weekends.

“New York City may be the city that never sleeps, but that shouldn’t be because of after-hours construction that wakes you up,” said Kallos (D-Manhattan). “Noise is the top complaint in New York City.”

The construction cacophony will be capped at 80 decibels next year, and dropped to 75 in 2020. The current limit is 85 decibels.

Gotham Gazette Protecting Tenants from Construction Harassment by Opinion

Protecting Tenants from Construction Harassment

We’ve seen it in our districts. A new landlord takes ownership of a building and starts a construction project that never finishes in order to evict long-term residents. They may turn off the cooking gas indefinitely; they may even knock out the boiler with no explanation.

For too many New Yorkers, this nightmare is their reality. The stories are plentiful: heat and gas shutoffs in the middle of winter, jackhammering causing cracks in apartment walls, loss of power, and lead dust in the air lasting for months on end. For years, city and borough officials and community advocates have encountered a critical mass of stories like these, detailing the unscrupulous conduct of landlords as well as the insufficient response from the City of New York.

DNAinfo.com See the Controversial Mixed-Income Tower Set to Rise on UES Playground by Shaye Weaver

See the Controversial Mixed-Income Tower Set to Rise on UES Playground

The new tower will rise 47 stories and feature a recreation center and playgrounds, according to city officials.

Fetner Properties
YORKVILLE — The city finally released renderings of a mixed-income tower set to rise on top of an existing playground at the Holmes Towers public housing complex — and while the city is celebrating, some locals see the news as "salt in the wound."

The images released Wednesday are the first to come out of a year-and-a-half long debate between current Holmes Towers residents and the New York City Housing Authority about the logistics of the plan, which falls under the city's new NextGen program meant to raise capital funds for its existing developments across the city.

The renderings show a 47-story, off-white building rising among the red-brick Holmes Towers buildings on East 93rd Street, as well as a new 18,000-square-foot recreation and community center run by Asphalt Green and new playgrounds.

run its recreation center, which will include an indoor basketball court, a rooftop turf field and low-cost programming.