Affordability preserved at Cooper Square, Co-op City

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced last Friday that affordability has been preserved for 16,083 homes, including in Cooper Square and Co-op City. The city used low-cost preservation programs and tax exemptions to guarantee stability for families in 95 buildings throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

“We are facing an unprecedented crisis, and after we have defeated this virus and begin to pick up the pieces, we will need affordable housing like never before,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “Locking in the affordability of these homes across the city will be crucial to ensuring stability for New Yorkers as we recover.”

HPD was able to secure affordability for 327 apartments across 21 buildings for the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association in the East Village, which is the oldest Community Land Trust in the city. HPD collaborated with the Office of the New York State Attorney General, which provided $1.5 million in funding that Cooper Square will be able to use to expand services for local senior residents. Affordability has been ensured at Cooper Square for the next 40 years as a result of the deal.

Continue reading

CUNY students, pols protest tuition hikes

Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

City University of New York students, education advocates and local elected officials rallied on the Baruch Plaza at Lexington Avenue and East 25th Street last Thursday, protesting tuition hikes for CUNY students.

Assemblymember Harvey Epstein argued at the rally that more money should be allocated to the city and state university systems, and also said that bills he has introduced would help provide that funding.

One piece of legislation from Epstein, which is co-sponsored by Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, would impose a 2% sales tax on various luxury items, including vehicles, jewelry and clothing over a certain amount, and the tax would be distributed equally to SUNY and CUNY. Another bill would increase taxes on beer and would direct the revenue generated from the tax to SUNY and CUNY, with Epstein noting that New York currently has one of the lowest beer taxes in the country. The bill would increase the tax to 30 cents per gallon, up from 14.

Continue reading