Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Hurricane and the Housing Crisis

USA Today looks at the looming housing crisis in New York's outer boroughs:

In the city's five boroughs, an as-yet unidentified number of larger residential high-rises, including several low-income public housing projects run by the New York City Housing Authority, "are going to be out of commission for a very long time," Bloomberg said.

"The magnitude of the problem is we think we could have something between 30,000 and 40,000 people that we're going to have to find housing for," Bloomberg said. "We are working on it."

The Gothamist takes a different angle, examining whether tenants living in affected buildings can break their leases:

[E]ven if you weren't forced to leave your apartment, you could also get some money knocked off your rent if, say, you didn't have heat or hot water. "In New York and New Jersey, there is a warranty of habitability, in which the owner guarantees the apartment will be habitable," Dobkin explains. "And even if it's an act of God or nature such as a storm, the owner is responsible to the extent that a resident is entitled to a rent abatement if they are unable to use the apartment. No heat would often result in an abatement of 50 percent of the rent during the period when heat is required, but it's up to a judge to decide what impact it has on tenant's use of apartment."


Steve Clowney

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