Author Archives

Greg Lewis

Religious Facilities Task Force

Religious institutions are a bedrock of neighborhood life and identity, and serve as a social and cultural resource for thousands of New Yorkers. When religious congregations are faced with real estate challenges and must move or close, the impacts on the surrounding community can be significant. Since 2014, my office has worked to assist them in meeting their challenges – which have been particularly serious in Central and East Harlem,… Read more

IBO study: How homeless facilities impact property values

A New York City Independent Budget Office study I requested shows how housing property values are affected by certain types of homeless facilities within 1,000 feet. Transitional shelters appear to drop property values only modestly, while permanent supportive housing doesn’t affect values at all. Facts unearthed by solid research like this are what public policy should be based on, and permanent shelters are clearly what the de Blasio administration should… Read more

Charter Revision proposals on November ballot

It may feel a bit like “Groundhog Day,” but the November 5, 2019 ballot will contain a set of proposals to revise New York City’s Charter. (You may recall there were three charter revision proposals on last year’s General Election ballot—the result of a hurried process instituted by the Mayor—which created a Civic Engagement Commission, instituted term limits on Community Board members, and increased the funding match for candidates who… Read more

837 pages, and a whole lot of fear…

That’s what the new federal “Public Charge” rule means for immigrants. The rule, to be implemented by the Trump administration on October 15, adds new criteria to the factors deciding whether to grant legal permanent status to those undocumented immigrants who apply for it. That criteria says if an applicant is enrolled in public benefits programs during 12 months of any 36 month period prior to the application they are… Read more

Court rules in Brewer lawsuit: calls for Two Bridges projects to undergo ULURP

I’m please to report that NY Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has ruled in favor of our lawsuit against the Two Bridges project. He agreed with us that the Two Bridges developments will have a ‘huge’ impact on the neighborhood, and must undergo the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process. In his opinion, Judge Engoron recognized that “…evading a required ULURP irreparably harms a community…” and that “…ULURP is… Read more

Grant deadlines extended to August 16

Gale Brewer talks to a seated crowd The deadlines for applications for both the Manhattan Community Award Program (MCAP) and the Manhattan Counts 2020 Census initiative have been extended to August 16. The MCAP provides funding awards of up to $3,500 to nonprofit organizations and public schools. Each award is contracted through one of four city agencies selected by the applicant: Dept. for the Aging, Dept. of Correction, Dept. of Education, and the Dept. of Health and… Read more

Announcing the Winners of the Seaport Community Mural Project!

My office and the New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) are pleased to announce the winning designs in our Seaport Community Mural Project. These designs will be applied to structures that are part of the Interim Flood Protection Measures (IFPM) program, which will be installed along South Street in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport neighborhood. Below are the winners. Andrea Bass, New York, NY: Brenda Berkman, New York, NY: Ebony Bolt,… Read more

Fresh Food for Seniors expands into lower Manhattan

Hundreds of seniors across Manhattan have been taking advantage of my Fresh Food for Seniors program. They’re supporting local agriculture and eating healthier by ordering $8 bags of fresh fruit and vegetables (a $15 value). At the start of this season, I announced that we would be expanding into lower Manhattan and I’m pleased to share that deliveries in our new program area have begun at three locations: Southbridge Towers,… Read more

Protecting the East Side from climate change

Public Hearing on East Side Coastal Resiliency Climate change and sea level rise threaten the safety and prosperity of New York City. We have to think big—and act fast—if we’re to have any chance of blunting its effects. That’s why, after holding a public hearing in July and considering hours of community testimony, I supported the city’s East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project, with many conditions, in my formal ULURP recommendation. Developed as part of a… Read more

Illegal ticket hawkers at Battery Park

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo and I convened a meeting with the Mayor’s Office, city agencies, and community stakeholders to address the illegal ticket vending issue that has been plaguing the Battery, Peter Minuit Plaza, and the southern portion of Battery Park City for several years. Individual vendors, frequently using harassment and occasionally force, have continued to peddle ferry and boat tour tickets to Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and… Read more