Mayor unveils sweeping affordable housing plan
by Andrew Shilling
May 06, 2014 | 565 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Bill de Blasio holds up the 115-page Housing New York plan.
Mayor Bill de Blasio holds up the 115-page Housing New York plan.
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Mayor de Blasio along with representatives from dozens of city agencies.
Mayor de Blasio along with representatives from dozens of city agencies.
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Hector Figueroa, executive director for SEIU 32BJ, at the press conference.
Hector Figueroa, executive director for SEIU 32BJ, at the press conference.
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On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a $41 billion plan to secure and build 200,000 affordable housing units across all five boroughs of the city over the next 10 years.

“The 80-20 model was the model of the past,” de Blasio said, citing the former 20 percent affordable housing for 80 percent of market-rate housing program. “The model we have now is to maximize affordability in each and every situation. Every situation is different. Every site is different.”

With a focus on serving middle, as well as low-income families making under $25,150 for a household of four, the initiative includes a wide range of housing opportunities.

“We have a crisis of affordability on our hands,” he said. “It touches everyone from the bottom of the economic ladder all the way to the middle class. So we are marshaling every corner of government and the private sector in an unprecedented response.”

The 115-page plan includes work though 13 city agencies and more than 50 initiatives to accelerate affordable construction, protect tenants and deliver numerous affordable housing investments.

“The affordable housing crisis facing Brooklynites and all residents of New York City is imposing, but it is far from insurmountable,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Housing New York is a road map that will help lead us to the goal of constructing and preserving the hundreds of thousands of housing units we will need to maintain our city’s vibrant economy and rich diversity.”

Public Advocate Letitia James recalled her morning commute to the press conference at the development site at 262 Ashland Pl. in Fort Greene that included her waitress telling her, ‘Tish, unfortunately I’m going to have to move from Fort Greene because I no longer can afford it,’ and a guard at BAM pleading for more affordable housing in Downtown Brooklyn.

“Too many New Yorkers have to pay 50 percent of their income on rent,” James said. “It’s now time that we focused on the needs of working people in the City of New York.”

In addition to creating new housing units, estimates say the plan would create 194,000 construction jobs over the course of the next 10 years, and roughly 7,200 permanent jobs.

Hector Figueroa, executive director of SEIU 32BJ, brought the support of nearly 145,000 union workers and applauded the mayor for his promise to work with local unions.

“It doesn’t matter if you came here to the city recently or if you have lived here for generations,” Figueroa said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re low-income, homeless, middle-income. There is a crisis on housing affordability.”

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