The NYC Luxury Public Housing Connection

Ozone Park, Queens, New York City

With a month to go until the eviction moratorium expires on January 15th (Martin Luther King’s birthday, SMDFH), hundreds of thousands of city residents will either repay their debts to their landlords or probably get evicted from their apartment aka homes. As this crisis gets closer with each passing second and as the weather gets colder, the other and brighter side of life in New York Fucking City should not got unacknowledged…

NY Post

New York City rents have overtaken San Francisco as the most expensive in the US, a sign the Big Apple is outpacing the West Coast tech hub’s financial recovery.

The median one-bedroom rental in the boroughs is now $2,810, compared to a midway price point of $2,800 in the Golden City, according to a new study by online rental platform Zumper.

It’s the first time New York has outpriced San Francisco since Zumper started tracking data in 2014, as many New Yorkers that fled the city amid COVID-19 concerns have returned, according to the study.

“People returned to New York as indoor dining and other urban amenities that make the city popular became available again. Rent began to rise as a result … That hasn’t happened in San Francisco,” according to the study.

A middle of the road one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan at the beginning of the pandemic cost about $3,417, according to StreetEasy. That figure plummeted to $2,700 as many left the city, creating the lowest rents there in more than a decade.

Good news every tenant in New York City, THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH AGAIN!. Truly a monumental event and a sign that the recovery for all of us that Mayor de Blasio has been repetitively been talking about is about to come to fruition, at least for those that count. Meaning those that are able to count what little savings they have. Because if the rents are going up again, surely this trend will trickle down to the perpetually housing insecure via the city’s Housing New York program to build and preserve affordable housing for the city’s desperate and downtrodden who pay 1/3 of their check in rent right?

Of course not. As I pointed out last year of an apartment building in west Soho (which is called Hudson Square now to make it even nichier), The Blaz’s affordable housing program is a fucking ruse and a hoax. And now after 8 years of “affordable housing”development usually sprouting in establish gentrification colonizer Brooklyn nabes like Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint and even in Queens enclaves like Astoria, Rockaway, Long Island City and quasi/pseudo-Brooklyn nabe Ridgewood, this inequitable farce and impossible to win lottery city program has sprouted in the most unlikeliest of towns in Southside Queens, Ozone Park.

When the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the debut and opened the lottery for this building this year in March, it was quite a surprise to see it still looked like this three months later.

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And also that it was “anticipated” to be completed around the winter solstice in 2020.

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Another thing about this “affordable housing” anomaly is how the city touted this as part of the Housing Connect program, when the qualifications for accessing these apartments is set up for people who make 30% and 60% more than the average median income of the zip code and even the whole borough of Queens of which the AMI is actually around $61,000, barely above the threshold for applying for one of these $1,600 studios. What’s even more outlandish is how wide the income earning window is for them, because even if you make over a hundred large you can still qualify, if living in an abode where the kitchen and your bed is in the same space is your style. Then there is also the fact that the lottery winning tenant still has to pay for ALL utilities, but I guess if you are making 150 grand and renting a one room apartment for $2,000, it’s wont make much of a dent in your wallet or savings account as it would to the average middle class or working poor renter around the hood.

To make this even more farcical, usually when the city designates a building for it’s Housing New York program, it usually labels it as such while still in the skeletal phase of development like in the pics above and the aforementioned Soho luxury public housing tower.  But closer inspection found something very incriminating confirming the hoax of de Blasio’s affordable housing scam and his fair city for all platitude slogan with this advertisement plastered on the temporary wall:

Now why would the owners and management of this “affordable housing” building advertise it with an private agency contact when it’s on the city government’s Housing Connect website? And what’s more outlandishly egregious is why it’s being advertised as “Luxury” which is not only misleading but wholly antithetical to de Blasio’s and his housing and preservation department lackeys intent to bring housing equity to the long suffering housing insecure, homeless, rent burdened citizens and gentrification refugees of New York City?

But since this is so eye catching, lets take a look at what kind of luxury the developers are peddling here with this.

Nothing defines luxury than a balcony, even if there is barely room for two people to stand on.

 

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But after you win the housing lottery for these luxurious one-bedroom palaces, you’ll get to immerse yourself with these views of Ozone Park’s sights  with a  tumbler of single malt scotch or a can of four loco like a boss; sights like Rockaway Boulevard one of Queens most expansive traffic arteries and the homey two way traffic trail on 87th St.

 

Where you might just wake up in the middle of the night to see real live fast and furious drag racing and cars spinning in circles. Pure vibrancy in action!

And if speed is not your thing, you can also admire Queens car culture from above with vehicles waiting on line to get into the luxury car wash next door and other vehicles coming out and being stored at the luxury car rental chain business across the street.

And other transcendent sights like the neighboring rock quarry and cement lot, the seminal sources of how your luxury pad got made.

 

 

Of course nothing defines luxury lifestyle living than quality infrastructure. Surely flooding won’t be an issue with a storm drain like this.

What’s even funnier is the city’s housing connect website’s advertisement of this farcical luxury public housing building and the amenities offered for the fortunate lottery winning tenants. Even if these “amenities” are actually services that have always been available to them and the general public since the invention of fire like bus stops and subways and “pedestrian friendly walk score” (???!!!) or has they are known to the general public as “sidewalks”. The other hilarious amenity that’s falsely advertised is the playground, which is either on the roof or is referring to the nearest one about 5 blocks away by Atlantic Ave. on the border with Woodhaven, because this surely isn’t going to be placed by the vacuum machines at the car wash or above the “covered” garage.

 

But what about the actual affordable abodes? Well looks like everything will be conveniently at arms reach for the lucky lottery tenants.

This wall here? That’s the bedroom.

At least the finished project and product won’t look so bad right? Well, only when compared to when it still had scaffolding. Here’s what “affordable luxury” looks like in 2021.

Pretty standard and bland. I guess this can be easily abbreviated as a blandered building.

 

Apparently, this is the entrance of the building. Nothing is more welcoming than seeing an exit sign facing you as you are about to enter your luxury apartment.

Now I’m not an architect, but placing these HVAC’s on the pavement really looks like a massive shit idea and makes me wonder what the developers were thinking when they gave this the o.k. or even if they were in the board room when this was designed. I also wonder if the LLC even visited this site or even this state or country as this was being built.

Given the violent flash flooding the city has been getting, especially in Queens as Ida exposed and Sandy before her, there has to be some mitigation to prevent inevitable damage to these HVACs, but the LLC actually did. Well at least they considered it.

 

This right here. This three patches on the predominantly concrete sidewalk is going to protect the tenants from the elements of climate change. Although the floor to ceiling windows above their HVACs surely won’t help much either, bad enough they have to deal with lookie-loos and skells casing their luxurious places out with relative ease.

Doesn’t look like they are going to consider planting trees here or even setting up a bioswale.

 

There’s a bigger triangular patch of pseudo green space around the corner too to keep the back door tenants at ease. At least this has a drain and although that garage sure will turn into a reservoir when Sandy Jr. comes.

Speaking of the garage, residents will be pulling out into a very less than ample two way street, which will be very challenging for them and commuters to see each other coming.

Also looks like they are heralding the grand opening and also the holidays with some festive decorations

But of course the biggest farce of all is the fact that the developers behind this will still get that sweet 421a tax break for volunteering in the NYC HDP’s near decade long “affordable housing” ruse. And surely the six figure earning demographic will also strongly benefit, since the city has devoted over 80% of these new apartments to them. And the well-to-do housing insecure shouldn’t get intimidated from playing the luxury public housing lottery get these apartments with real estate fanzine news blogs like Brick Underground giving them sage advice with advertorial tripe like this:

Authored by intrepid publicists for mega developer TF Cornerstone, when posited the question directly to their big money-earning readership, they quip “You probably do. Affordable housing programs have expanded to include a wide range of middle-income households” (middle income based on the ossified AMI that includes suburban upper class enclaves in Westchester) and when positing the obvious question of why do you need the government to find you a rental that you can find yourself given your comfortable income, they do note that it might take a while to move in if they qualify (especially with this luxury box here) but it’s worth it for all the money they will save. But what usually winds up happening is that these prospective savvy clients either wind up getting a cheaper place with more room or a dumbass one who will give the landlord what he/she wants for a shitty walkup hovel for 3 large a month in Brooklyn.

That’s another thing about the fraudulent housing connect program, because the objective was to keep building and building all this luxury public housing in the hopes that affordability will trickle down to build even more buildings with more incremental amounts of affordable housing to the affordability in the private housing sector, but it’s quite obvious that is not the case, which was tragically exposed by Hurricane Ida when a dozen people lost their lives trapped by the rushing deluge of water from the storm as they slept in their basement apartments. This brought overdue attention to the affordable housing ruse when it was revealed that over 100,000 NYC residents are renting basement and cellars and other illegal conversions dwellings, proving once and for all that the equity Mayor de Blasio and his sociopath housing commish Vicki Been of the brazen lie it is. Although attention to this existential dimension of the city’s housing crisis should have been exposed when a boy died in a cellar fire where his family lived from a e-bike battery that exploded as it was being charged in this same neighborhood where that luxury public housing box is.

 

And the luxury public Housing Connect difficulties has even modest money earning citizens have to depend on the basement rental market and predatory scumlords looking for a cheap hustle, like when a cop listed a basement of a house he was renting and ripped off a woman after she gave him rent and deposit for $2,800 dollars which makes the actual rent out to $1,400, which was already steep and about 200 bucks less than what Housing Connect considers affordable in Ozone Park where this grift also took place. This bastard did this to many other marks as well until the actual owner of the house kicked his ass out. Because where else are people desperate for a decent place to live supposed to go when their city prioritized housing for an upper income bracket demographic populace that don’t exist over them?

And signs are showing it’s going to get worse. NY Post again:

Yes, Queens!

Despite consecutive quarters of plummeting rents across the city following the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for certain landlords.

Queens has seen its highest-priced tier of rentals — or homes priced more than $2,500 per month — recover 99% of its pre-pandemic highs, according to just-released data from real-estate portal StreetEasy. That makes this borough’s high-end rental market the first in New York City to reach recovery in the wake of COVID.

It means that renters have flocked to prime Queens neighborhoods, including Long Island City and Astoria, instead of normally more expensive Manhattan and Brooklyn — ratcheting up housing demand in the process and making luxury property landlords raise their prices, StreetEasy adds. 

But for many, the rent can be too damn high. The borough’s lower- and mid-tier rental homes are far from their pre-pandemic levels, with StreetEasy adding that prices have only recently begun to recover — and are doing so slowly. That means, depending on renters’ budgets, there are still deals to be had. 

Overall, when compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn, Queens still remains relatively more affordable. Queens’ median rent was $2,200 in July — whereas for Manhattan it was $3,000 and, for Brooklyn, $2,600. The report does not mention The Bronx or Staten Island.

In the first quarter of 2021, as rents across the city continued to fall to record lows, Queens saw median rents slip to $1,999. For Manhattan and Brooklyn, they fell to a respective $2,700 and $2,390.

When newspapers are describing 2 grand as affordable they are basically doing the real estate lobbies job for them. Even more warped is when local businesses participate in the hype too. This realty business (formerly a TV repair shop) is only 4 blocks away from 86-15 Rockaway LLC’s building.

Adding to the palpable threat of imminent gentrification of Ozone Park is that this comes after recent City Council decisions majorly favoring new rezones for luxury public housing towers in Gowanus and Soho/Noho on social justice fallacies, claiming that they were mostly populated by rich White people. Well, ironically it was White people actually had an influence on those development rezones in the form of gentrification industrial complex real estate lobby organization Open New York For All, whose flack just wrote a piece the other day for the NY Daily News begging incoming Mayor Eric Adams to rubber stamp more rezoning on towns perceived to have luxury housing, which he falsely distinguishes as regular one and two family houses. These creeps at Open New York, who have a devoted cult on social media claiming to be experts on cities called Urbanists are like real estate scientologists who are not even from NYC and the ones that happen to live here are transients, manage to infiltrate and astroturf every community board hearing about affordable housing development proposals, never thinking  the luxury public housing ratio is three times higher than the “affordable” housing and how that will make the city’s area median income rate even higher, which certainly happened when the rental market exploded in the last year (before COVID fucked up the market and brought the rents down).

And therein lies the crux of NYC’s luxury public housing connection, approve the rezoning to build these towers with incremental supply of “affordable housing” (and also the box buildings with units under the false rubric of affordability) and the market rate apartments that make up the majority of them turns the area into a “luxury upper class” neighborhood. Just like with what’s going on here with this Rockaway LLC’s box building. 

It also helps the Open New York manufactured fauxgressive narrative when the neighborhood suddenly draws upscale real estate developer interest on vacant properties.

 

 

   

As is wont of departing Mayor Bill de Blasio and his demonic deputy mayors who manufactured this farce, nice little calimari Alicia Glen and Vicki Been, everything about NYC Housing Connect is pure grift and an abject betrayal of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers still left wanting for a decent comfortable place to live, but a boon to the lucky fortunate few who won the lottery or could afford to live in these overpriced hovels after winning the lottery. 

It’s also a big boon to the aforementioned Open New York cabal and cult, who consist of pasty White real estate investors who will certainly make big coin from the tower pestilence hyper-development that has been approved by the feckless city council cronies that they handily influenced and will again with the new crop of sell out shit libs that were recently elected.

The biggest boon of course will easily go to the developers again, known and unknown, the nucleus of the Gentrification Industrial Complex of real estate, government, lobbying and media as they continue to get everything they want from their purchasing of officials. From the easily obeisant and compromised de Blasio (and eventually to the corporatist Eric Adams) who spewed gaslighting platitudes of diversity and equity while they got to bathe in the crapulence of his whorish rubber stamped rezoning and upzoning approvals while rents everywhere will keep going up and up, spurred by the fabrication/speculation of the rental market spurred by city’s luxury public housing program.

                    

 

 

 

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