Photo Credit: vanderwal via Compfight cc Pretty much all the "Sans" are worse.
A new report from the Citizens Budget Commission ranks New York City sixth in median rent costs nationwide, which might come as a surprise to the millions struggling to cut that check every month.
San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego all have a higher median cost, according to the report. And while the West Coast may have sunshine and decent tacos to salve the pain, Washington D.C. and Boston come out ahead as well, which just doesn't seem fair.More »
It's been coming for a long time, but it still doesn't quite lessen the sting: St. Mark's Bookshop has moved from its longtime location on 3rd Avenue. The venerable bookseller had been battling its landlord, Cooper Union, for a number of years, trying without success to keep the school from raising their rent. But they are not, repeat, not gone for good: they've got a new shop location in the East Village, at 136 E. Third Street, between Avenue A and 1st Avenue. The move was made possible in part by an IndieGoGo campaign; bereaved book-lovers donated almost $52,000 to help out.
The new location at 136 E. Third Street
The bookshop staff reports on Facebook that they probably won't re-open until next week, the week of July 7. In the meantime, no one is mourning their departure from 3rd Avenue quite as keenly as Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah's Vanishing New York. Moss petitioned passionately to save the bookshop when it was first endangered back in 2011. He notes that the store left behind a lovely Ted Berrigan poem in their window to say goodbye. And he's written St. Mark's a love letter of his own, which made us just a little prickly behind the eyes.More »
In a move that angered everyone and pleased precisely nobody, the city's Rent Guidelines Board voted last night in a meeting at Cooper Union to increase the rent on rent-stabilized apartments by one percent. That's after Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a rent freeze , saying at an unrelated press conference that the city is locked in an "unfair pattern."
Screenshot via. He really does have a point.
"We've had a pattern in recent years of tenants being charged substantial increases," he said at the presser yesterday, "while the actual costs to landlords did not increase anywhere near the same amount."
The mayor's words were apparently for naught. As the Times points out, two of the six people de Blasio appointed to the board actually voted in favor of the increase.More »
On Monday, when the other candidates for mayor of New York were trying out new talking points about the high cost of living in this city, crafted after a night spent in public housing, a sixth candidate was quietly collecting signatures on the corner of Lafayette Street and Astor Place.
Today the nine-person Rent Guidelines Board decided on next year's rent increases in a public meeting in the Great Hall at Cooper Union (please note the irony). Rent will jump 4% on all one-year leases and 7.75% on all two-year leases in the city. The tenants jeered, the landlords cheered. It came down to a 5-4 vote.More »
"Why No Tenant Should Vote for Anthony Weiner," read the headline in May's issue of Metropolitan Council on Housing. The op-ed, written by tenant advocate Michael McKee of the Tenants PAC, highlights a 1994 flip-flop by the then-councilman on rent stabilization--a term that has slowly evaporated from Big Apple real estate talk in the modern age. The vote cast by Weiner had angered the tenant community at the time and, now that he's running for City Hall, has only fostered more backlash. And, in a display of how utterly dismal the New York City housing market truly is, it's one of the first times the issue that should be a top priority has made an appearance in this election cycle.
It was the record store enshrined in West Village fame; a place where Bob Dylan and Kramer found their favorite vinyls in the dusty clearance bins that sat out front. The landmark from an era of the neighborhood that no longer exists, driven out by high rents, high spenders and, in this case, frozen yogurt stores.
A few months ago, we sadly had to write a post titled "Brooklyn is No Longer the 'Budget-Savvy' Alternative to Manhattan." It revolved around the news that Brooklyn was now the second most-expensive place to live in the country, falling only below its skyscraper neighbor, Manhattan. But what happens when the second-most expensive place to live becomes as costly, if not more, than the most expensive place?
Let's call it the modern-day urban sprawl.
In a story that would come as a surprise to someone living in 2006, the Daily News reported yesterday that Brooklyn is becoming so damn expensive that recent transplants are actually going back to Manhattan. The slowly, then rapidly developing real estate boom in Kings County over the past decade is now pushing out newcomers as well as longtime residents.
Welcome to the rent conundrum that is New York City.More »
Noelle Théard and Dennis Flores Inside one of the Sunset Park basements that led to the rent strike.
Last fall, it seemed as if justice was finally in the works for tenants in Sunset Park. In August, after organizing a year-long rent strike with three buildings on their block, residents finally had their day in court. At the time, Judge Sylvia Hinds-Radix seemed sympathetic, noting, "This building is crying out for a receiver." However, the receiver -- who's charged with the task of caring for the buildings while they undergo the foreclosure process -- didn't appear until January 14th.
In the meantime, many of the unlivable conditions that led the tenants to strike have persisted, and they're not sure they'll stop the rent strike under the receiver's management. They want to see the problems, which range from bugs to leaks to asbestos contamination, fixed -- and they're worried about handing over their money but not seeing any changes.
Orazio Petito, the slumlord who owns the apartment buildings at 553, 545, and 557 46th Street, packed the basements of his properties with construction debris and trash, which quickly became home to mice, fleas and bedbugs. Sara Lopez, one of the tenants who organized the rent strike, told us, "Any time it rains, the water runs from the roof to the first floor. The first floor floods. I get mice, I get roaches. [Petito] didn't care. I told him, 'When you clean the basement, I'll pay the rent.'"