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.

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.

AM New York Tenant housing court history could become a protected class under city bill by By Sarina Trangle

Tenant housing court history could become a protected class under city bill

In a bid to root out so-called tenant blacklisting, the city may expand its list of protected classes to include people who have been involved in housing court cases.

At a hearing Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration indicated it supported a bill that would empower the city's Commission on Human Rights to investigate when New Yorkers believe a landlord opted not to rent to them because of their history in housing court.

Earlier this summer, the state banned this practice, often referred to as tenant blacklisting. Lawyers who represent renters have long spoken out against owners that reject anyone included in databases of people who have been involved in any housing court action — even in cases that tenants win — over the past seven years.

The state's prohibition, however, exclusively tasks the attorney general with enforcement and does not allow renters to take owners to court with their own attorneys.

New York Times Towers Crowd Yorkville by Joseph Burger

Towers Crowd Yorkville

“Everyone in the city who cares about the cultural identity of their neighborhood should be watching Yorkville as a warning sign,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos, a grandson of Jewish Hungarian immigrants whose district includes Yorkville. “The last thing a residential neighborhood needs is more glass towers for billionaires.”

El Diario Protestan para que se congelen rentas por los próximos dos años en NYC by Edwin Martinez

Protestan para que se congelen rentas por los próximos dos años en NYC

El próximo junio la Junta Reguladora de Alquileres votará si se aumenta o no la renta de más de 1 millón de apartamentos en la ciudad de Nueva York, que están cobijados bajo la figura de renta estabilizada y, desde ya, líderes, activistas y defensores de los inquilinos, están pidiendo que los alquileres se congelen por los próximos dos años. En el 2018 el aumento fue del 1.5% en contratos de 1 año y 2.5% en contratos de 2 años.

Politico [L]eadership frustrated city officials, developers (Excerpt) by Joe Anuta, Janaki Chadha, Sally Goldenberg

[L]eadership frustrated city officials, developers (Excerpt)

During his tenure, the Manhattan lawmaker approached routine, sparsely attended land use hearings somewhat like courtroom dramas — grilling housing agency officials and other applicants for details on financing, affordability levels and benefits awarded to workers on a given site and chastising them when they couldn’t provide answers...

The Libertarian Republic The Construction Industry In New York Needs A Safety Overhaul by Maggie Novak

The Construction Industry In New York Needs A Safety Overhaul

Dangerous jobs usually come with higher wages due to the risks involved. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world, but many construction workers receive little more than minimum wage. Many construction projects receiving government subsidies pay workers minimum wage. That hardly seems fair considering the risk of personal injury. Still, people need jobs, so they’re willing to take that risk for less pay.

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.