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Luxury rental buildings will house homeless under new city rule

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Plus, the median rent has jumped seven percent year over year in Queens—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

Max Touhey

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to

NYC turns to luxury buildings in search for homeless housing

The de Blasio administration is turning to luxury buildings in its search to find homes for the city’s staggering homeless population. Under a new rule, developers who are unable to fill affordable apartments in their high-end buildings through the city’s housing lottery system will be required to provide those apartments to shelter residents, Bloomberg reports.

The rule applies to developers who received tax breaks in exchange for setting aside affordable units. As of last week, the new mandate applied to about 200 units that were vacant, according to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development.

Placements in buildings could begin as early as this week. Those will be limited to families in shelters who can live without additional social services or support provided by the city. Their rents will be paid to building owners by the city.

And in other news...

  • Accessibility upgrades could be on the horizon for several more subway stations, according to an MTA-commissioned study on bringing the system in line with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Rents in Queens have jumped seven percent year over year with an average asking rent hitting $2,412 in January, according to a new RentCafe report.
  • Preservationists are on a quest to save the Jet Age Jamaica Savings Bank in Queens.
  • As Politco put it, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “bombed” in his Democratic debate debut Wednesday night.
  • The Library of Congress has acquired an archive of work by photographer Shawn Walker, of Harlem-based African-American photography collective the Kamoinge Workshop. The collection of nearly 100,000 photographs, negatives, and transparencies capture life in Harlem between 1963 and the present.
  • And finally, the Gowanus Canal’s infamous “Swamp Trump”—a floating sculpture of President Donald Trump surrounded by faux snakes—was destroyed after a vessel involved in the waterway’s Superfund cleanup rammed into it.