VID Forum on Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

Jonathan Geballe, moderator; Ted Houghton, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network; Moses Gates, Director of Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP); and Marlene Nadle, moderator

Full House for VID Forum on Affordable Housing

Village Independent Democrats sponsored a free-wheeling forum, “Opening Doors:  Affordable Housing in the de Blasio Era,” at St. John’s Lutheran Church Annex, on November 14.

The forum was inspired by Mayor-elect de Blasio’s pledge to build 200,000 units of affordable housing and end what he has  termed the “Tale of Two Cities” that currently characterizes New York City:  a few wealthy at the top, and the rest struggling for life’s basics, including housing the working class can afford.

Panelists Moses Gates, Director of Competitive Housing Assistance for Multifamily Properties (CHAMP), Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), and Ted Houghton, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network and Co-Chair of Housing First!, a coalition of over 30 advocacy groups reflected on the need for affordable housing and how VID can help the deBlasio administration meet its housing goals.

They covered a range of topics, from the controversial proposal to allow market-rate development on New York City public housing sites to the more arcane features of city, state and federal housing programs and housing tax credits.

V.I.D’s Marlene Nadle and Jonathan Geballe facilitated the program.

“Housing for New York City’s working- and middle-class is in danger of slipping away,” said Geballe. “We support our new mayor‘s vision of a city where people from all walks of  life can live and work for the American dream.  We look forward to working with dedicated advocates like Mr. Gates and Mr. Houghton to preserve the neighborhoods of the city we love.”

You can find more background and information on the topic here:

Real Affordable Housing Evaluation (ANHD Report)

Budget and Policy Initiatives (Supportive Housing Network)

Bloomberg News Coverage of DeBlasio and Affordable Housing issues – Nov. 21, 2013

VID Co-Sponsors Air Rights Legislation Forum…and signs a post forum letter


Air Rights Legislation

On Nov. 13, 2013, over 250 people were in attendance as more than 20 community groups joined GVSHP for a Town Hall regarding an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act (signed by Gov. Cuomo during the meeting) allowing park air rights to be transferred one block inland for development in our neighborhood adjacent to the Hudson River waterfront. Photo: All Rights Reserved GVSHP

 The West Village Air Rights Issue 

Simultaneous to the VID-co-sponsored forum questioning the new Air Rights Legislation, Assembly Bill 8031/Senate Bill 5824 is signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  A GVSHP-VID-Air-Rights-Letter drafted by Andrew Berman (GVSHP) was approved this week by VID’s Executive Committee.  It outlines a long list of necessary questions left unanswered by the legislation.  The letter’s goal is to ensure that the allowance for air rights transfers is not, and cannot be, used in a way which would be harmful to our neighborhoods and to efforts to preserve their scale and character.

Other organizations supporting the air rights legislation Forum [and Post Forum letter] include:

Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Save Chelsea
Council of Chelsea Block Associations
Greenwich Village Community Task Force
Tribeca Trust
Chelsea Reform Democratic Club
Downtown Independent Democrats
Charles Street Association
Charlton Street Block Association
VanDam Street Block Association
West 12th Street Block Association
Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
West 13th Street 100 Block Association
Morton Street Block Association
Perry Street Block Association
Perry Street Crusaders
Village Reform Democratic Club
Greenwich Village Block Associations

Attached  you will find the Hudson River Park Air Rights presentation and GVSHP’s case and campaign against unencumbered distribution of air rights from the Hudson River piers to development along a 5-mile stretch along the West Side Highway from Chambers  to 59th St. and potentially as far east as 9th Avenue.

Of particular concern to VID members is the roughly $118 million needed to make basic repairs to Pier 40, a nearly 15-acre expanse with ball fields and a 775,000-square-foot building with offices, sports facilities and a parking garage.  Also, of concern to VID and the Greenwich Village community is how to maintain and improve the Hudson River Park and particularly Pier 40.

Additional Hudson River Park Trust Air Rights Legislation coverage can be found at:

Crains NY Business. 11/14/13

NY Daily News  11/14/13

Chelsea Now 11/14/13

Villager  11/14/13

NY Daily News 11/12/13

Villager  11/07/13

NY Times 08/12/13

VID Endorsed Candidates 2013

VID Endorsed Candidates

Recording Secretary Kathy Slawinsky phonebanking for De Blasio

VID’s Endorsed Candidates 2013

Mayor:   Bill DeBlasio
Public Advocate: Letitia James
Comptroller:  Scott Stringer
Manhattan District Attorney:  Cyrus Vance Jr.
Manhattan Borough President:  Gale Brewer
City Council District 3:  Corey Johnson
City Council District 2:  Rosie Mendez
City Council District 1:  Margaret Chin

Civil Court Judges: Kathryn E. Freed, Marcy S. Friedman, Adam Silvera
State Supreme Court: Peter Moulton , Deborah James, Anil Singh


Pride Parade 2013 with VID and Friends

Pride Parade 2013

Congressman Nadler, City Council Candidate Corey Johnson and District Leader Jonathan Geballe

Pride Parade 2013 could not have been more significant or memorable.  

Tens of thousands of participants celebrated Edie Windsor’s and attorney Roberta Kaplan’s victory in striking down DOMA‘s unequal treatment of same sex marrieds, just days before.  With this decision, the Supreme Court drew a line in the sand against anti-homosexual bigotry – and a multitude of same sex couples shared their jubilation.  Rising to the top of Twitters list was #gayprideparade ; FaceBook pages are still awash with pictures depicting personal and public joy; Google search on pride parade 2013 nyc brings up 166,000 entries!  (The image at left was one of many shared by City Council candidate Corey Johnson from his FaceBook page.)

District Leader Jonathan Geballe (NYS 66th AD) was front and center, marching aside Corey and lifetime civil rights advocate Congressman Jerry Nadler, and joining VID  honoree, this year’s Grand Marshal Edie Windsor, and VID members:  Roberta Kaplan and spouse NYS Democratic State Committeewoman Rachel Lavine,  NYS Senator Brad Hoylman with husband David Sigal and daughter Sylvia, NYS Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, VID Vice-President Marti Speranza, VID Recording Secretary Lucia Fedora, VID Campaign Committee co-chairs Peter Crosta and David Kruger.

It was a march to be remembered.  Even the weather cooperated as a few welcome, cooling drops of rain disappeared for the celebratory evening in the Village.