Mayor focuses on housing in State of the City address

Mayor Bill de Blasio referenced Stuyvesant Town during his speech on affordable housing gone wrong. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Mayor Bill de Blasio referenced Stuyvesant Town during his speech on affordable housing gone wrong. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his second State of the City address at Baruch College at Lexington Avenue and East 23rd Street on Tuesday morning, making affordable housing the focus of the speech and his agenda for the next year. He outlined a number of new programs, including housing for targeted populations like seniors and veterans and said that he would be working to protect tenants against predatory landlords and institute mandatory inclusionary zoning to require affordable housing in new developments.

The mayor singled out Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in the address, praising the complex as a bastion of affordable housing and an example that his administration will follow, but acknowledged that there are lessons to be learned when building a new development planned for Sunnyside, Queens.

“Stuy Town, when it opened in 1947, provided our city with 11,250 affordable apartments, a community where trees and parks, and shops dotted a landscape from which residents could actually see the sky,” the mayor said. “We’re bringing that same kind of scale, and a real sense of urgency, to Sunnyside Yards and setting the same exact goal of 11,250 affordable units, as part of a neighborhood that anyone would be proud to call home. And in contrast to the recent history of Stuy Town, we’re going to make sure that affordable housing at Sunnyside Yards stays that way.”

The mayor noted in the address that one of the problems with housing for middle class New Yorkers has been is that the city did not have strong enough laws or rules in place that limited what developers were allowed to build.

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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 5

Feb5 Toon coyote gray

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

If landlords’ costs are inflated, roll back the rents

Re: Bill would change how RGB calculates landlords’ costs,” T&V, Jan. 29

To the Editor:

Okay, let’s see if I got this right. Since the 1990s the Giuliani/Bloomberg/de Blasio administration’s hand-picked, nine-member Rent Guidelines Boards have voted 5-4 in favor of rent increases every year. Now in 2015 we learn that the method used to determine and calculate these rent increases, “the Price Index of Operations Costs (PIOC), does not accurately reflect the costs and revenues accrued by landlords, causing unfair increases for tenants” and “overestimates landlord’s expenses by as much as one third and doesn’t measure income” at all.

Does this mean that for over 20 years the mayor-appointed RGBs gave unfair annual rent increases to landlords based on overestimating their expenses by 33 percent and not including their income into the calculation at all? If so, the only honest thing for the city to do would be to roll back those unfair rent increases for the past 20 years. But “Honesty is the best policy” is not the policy of New York politicians so another way to correct this injustice is needed.

I’m not surprised that it took over 20 years for one lone City Council member out of hundreds to uncover this devious trickery, make it public and introduce a bill that “would change how RGB calculates landlords’ costs.” What were the other hundred Council members doing for the past 20 years? Perhaps writing “Thank You!” notes to their constituents in the real estate industry for campaign contributions? Certainly not working to make the dream of affordable housing for rent-stabilized tenants a reality.

T&V reports that one RGB member cheering “What do we want? Rent freeze!” has “urged the mayor to pass the legislation because of the need for accurate data for rent stabilized tenants.” I say NO! We don’t need no stinkin’ band aids! What we need is major surgery. Since tenants have been paying more rent than legally required for over 20 years due to the city RGB’s devious, landlord-friendly methods of calculation, don’t you think tenants deserve something to make up for over 20 years of injustice?

I suggest that the mayor appoint an RGB that will be as friendly to tenants as it has been to landlords, one that will vote 5-4 for a rent freeze every year. That’s the only just thing to do, since I doubt the city is going to roll back those increases. Anything less would make this news just another joke about the various ways that New York politicians pay back their campaign contributors.

“Please don’t be offended if I preach to you awhile/Tears are out of place in eyes that were meant to smile.” Now join me in singing, “Look for the Sheldon Silver lining!”

John Cappelletti, ST

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Police Watch: Man arrested for attempted murder, Men wanted for AuH2O robbery

Police arrested Brian Quattrocchi, 37, for attempted murder and assault inside Bellevue Hospital at 462 First Avenue last Tuesday at 10 a.m. On January 27 at 12:30 a.m., Quattrocchi allegedly stabbed a woman, who police said was his ex-girlfriend, three times with a knife, causing serious physical injury. The incident took place in the victim’s apartment in the Lower East Side and the New York Post reported that an officer shot Quattrocchi after using a stun gun, which had failed to stop him.
Police said that he also punched the victim in the face in a previous incident on January 17 at 2:40 p.m., causing a cut and redness to his lower lip.
Quattrocchi was also charged with possession of a weapon.

Feb5 police suspect 2 Feb5 police suspect 1POLICE LOOKING FOR ROBBERY SUSPECTS
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating two suspects (pictured to the right) who are wanted for robbing a store in the East Village on Wednesday, January 21. The two suspects entered the Goldwater thrift shop (AuH20) at 84 East 7th Street around 5:30 p.m. and demanded cash from an employee. The employee complied and handed one of the suspects $240 while the other suspect then waited outside the store. Both suspects fled the location and the victim was unharmed.
The suspects are described as two black men in their late 20’s, approximately 5’8” tall and weighing 180 lbs. One suspect was wearing a grey hoodie and had a knife, and the other suspect who remained outside was wearing a black jacket. Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at or by texting TIP577 and their tips to 274637 (CRIMES). All calls are strictly confidential.

Police made three drug-related arrests in front of the McDonald’s at 39 Union Square West last Saturday at 6:06 p.m. Jason Hawk, 36, was arrested for intent to sell a controlled substance, burglar’s tools and possession of a controlled substance. Angela Adkins, also 36, was charged with possession of a controlled substance. Ivo Bogdamovic, 44, was arrested for sale of a controlled substance, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.
Police said that Hawk was in possession of a controlled substance that he was intending to sell and after searching him found that he was allegedly in possession of controlled substances, including suboxone strips and Xanax pills, as well as burglar’s tools.
Bogdamovic was allegedly selling the drugs to someone who wasn’t arrested and when an officer approached him, police said that he flailed his arms to prevent being arrested. He also allegedly tried to get rid of the goods.
Adkins was allegedly in possession of a controlled substance but police did not specify what the substance was.

Police arrested 21-year-old Daniel Corrigan for criminal mischief and assault in front of 526 East 20th Street last Sunday at 3:52 a.m. The victim told police that she got into a fight with Corrigan and he allegedly threw her phone to the ground, causing it to break. Police said that he also pushed her.

William Rolon, 36, was arrested for theft of services and trespassing at the corner of First Avenue and East 14th Street last Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. Rolon allegedly crawled under the turnstile at the First Avenue L station without paying the fare. Police said that Rolon is on parole for attempted murder.

Police arrested Shaheem Brown, 49, for an unclassified misdemeanor in front of 109 East 16th Street last Thursday at 9:58 a.m. Brown was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.

Police arrested 54-year-old Thomas Kim for forgery in front of 27 West 27th Street last Thursday at 1:05 p.m. Police said that Kim was displaying 229 hats with the Gucci trademark for $2, which were determined to be counterfeit.

Police arrested 51-year-old Ronald Wilmore for petit larceny inside the Hotel Kenmore, an SRO building on East 23rd Street, last Wednesday at 10 a.m. Wilmore had allegedly swiped cash from a woman’s bag.

Police arrested 35-year-old Richard Ditommaso for intoxicated driving last Monday at 12:35 a.m. at the corner of East 25th Street and First Avenue. Police said that he was pulled over for a suspended registration and when the officer approached his car, Ditommasso allegedly smelled like alcohol and had bloodshot, watery eyes. There was also the scent of alleged marijuana coming from inside the car and from Ditommaso’s clothing. Police said that he was unsteady on his feet when he got out of the car and his face was flush. There was allegedly a Maker’s Mark whiskey bottle in the back seat of the vehicle. He blew a .082 on a Breathalyzer test, police said.

Police arrested 53-year-old Deborah Barksdale for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance last Thursday at 9:10 p.m. inside 14 East 28th Street. In pursuant to a search warrant, police said that Barksdale was in possession of a controlled substance and narcotic paraphernalia.

Police arrested 37-year-old Luis Martinez for assault and endangering the welfare of a child inside 224 East 28th Street last Thursday at 11:30 p.m. Police said that Martinez struck the victim with a belt, causing bruising and swelling to the legs and buttocks.

Police arrested Nickossi Cole for an unclassified violation of New York State laws inside the Union Square subway station last Friday at 10 a.m. Cole allegedly solicited at least eight people to swipe him into the subway system, using a hand gesture as well as blocking pedestrian traffic in the turnstile area.

Police arrested Nihar Oza, 49, for burglar’s tools, petit larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property in front of 641 Sixth Avenue last Friday at 9:56 p.m. Oza was allegedly attempting to use a circular saw to cut a lock securing a bike that didn’t belong to him on a bicycle rack. When he saw the officer approaching him, he started to walk away. Oza was also allegedly in possession of bolt cutters.