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Morning Spew


Lefitst politicians are YIMBYs now, and more strange news for your Friday.

8:54 AM EDT on September 16, 2022

A message reading "real estate developers = scum" written in white on a sheet of plexiglass.

(Hell Gate)

Unless you're, say, a nightclub impresario with powerful friends, you're probably acutely aware of New York's severe housing crisis. While legislation like Good Cause would prevent people from being tossed out of their homes to begin with, that is not enough to stop the bleeding. New York has built far less new housing per capita than many other states—we're short some 770,000 homes.

But the trickle-down housing era ushered in by Bloomberg and turbocharged under de Blasio—induce developers to built lots of market-rate units to subsidize a sprinkling of "affordable" apartments—has not made a big enough dent in the problem, and continues to fuel opposition against new developments. In May, left-leaning Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan stopped a proposal to build 900 apartments in Harlem, half of them "affordable." That site will now house trucks instead of people, a move by the developer that sure feels like a big middle finger to the neighborhood.

That debacle may be a turning point for how local politicians who consider themselves progressive approach the housing crisis.

On Tuesday, City Councilmember Tiffany Cabán voiced her support for a 1,300-unit development in Astoria known as Halletts North. Cabán told New York Focus/Gotham Gazette that her position reflected a form of "harm reduction."

"The best we can hope for without rezoning this lot is a last mile [trucking] facility where some massive corporation like Amazon would pay our neighbors garbage wages for backbreaking work," Cabán told reporter Sam Mellins. "A no vote today would be a vote for that."

And on Wednesday, Brooklyn State Senator Jabari Brisport, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, tweeted a signal that he might not fight new housing developments, earning him lots of YIMBY praise.

Does this signal an actual shift on housing from the left? Or is this merely a shrewd acknowledgement of the power that real estate wields? Both? Stay tuned.

Here's what else we're reading:

    • A judge has allowed a class action lawsuit filed by a group of tenants against their landlord to move forward, City Limits reports.
    • Wait, you're telling me that if you charge people who drive their fucking Porsches into Manhattan, that they'll probably take mass transit? Huh.
    • Slightly less than 50 percent of white-collar workers are back at their Manhattan offices this week, up from 38 percent this past April. Very few of them, less than 10 percent, are there five days a week. If you work for Eric Adams, chances are you have been back in the office all week every week and are hating it.
    • According to the Times Union, California paid almost 50 percent less than New York for rapid COVID tests last year. New York's were supplied by a Hochul donor.
    • Related Companies and Wynn Resorts want to put a casino in Hudson Yards, the Times reports. Hell Gate will agree to this proposal only if they destroy the Vessel.
    • Speaking of the Times, management's back-to-office lunchbox gambit has blown up in their faces.
    • Hundreds of asylum seekers were sent to live in an office building in Downtown Brooklyn, Curbed reports.
    • Kyrie Irving is straight up sharing Alex Jones gibberish on Instagram and the Nets have to feel super good about this upcoming season.
    • This bear knows contentment. Do you?
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