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The Big Empty: Stringer & City Argue Over Math of Vacant Lots

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Office of the Comptroller

The comptroller and de Blasio administration have clashed in the past over the potential for developing vacant lots.

Comptroller Scott Stringer claimed Monday that the city has failed to fulfill its promise to develop affordable housing on city-owned property sitting vacant in the five boroughs.

At a press conference in an empty lot in Harlem, Stringer shared data on a follow-up to his 2016 audit where his office found that the city owned 1,100 empty properties, some vacant for 50 years or more.

“When we did our 2016 report, the government promised that developers would go to work on hundred of these properties immediately,” said Stringer. “We were told it was already in the pipeline. They promised, and they said that more than 400 of those lots would be transferred for development for the next two years.”

The new report highlighted that between September 2015 and September 2017 nearly 90 percent of the vacant lots were not developed and they are still in the city’s inventory. More than half of those lots do not yet have a transfer date set.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in that two-year period only transferred a

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This article was reposted from City Limits, an independent online news source.

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