Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Saturday announced that the number of affordable housing units under the new Housing Marketplace Plan will reach 160,000 by the end of the year. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
With just a little more than a week left in his term, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is touting the success of his New Housing Marketplace Plan.
"It was the largest affordable housing plan any American city has ever proposed," Bloomberg said.
Since the program started in 2003, 160,000 affordable living units have been created, and 5,000 more are expected to be available come June.
The program's success is most evident in a borough scarred by blight from the "Bronx is Burning" era.
"We've invested more than $7.6 billion in public and private funds to build and preserve affordable housing in the Bronx, and that has financed more than 49,000 affordable homes in the borough, including more than 37,000 right here in the South Bronx," Bloomberg said.
Adding to the affordable housing created in the Bronx, although the project won't be completed while Bloomberg is in office, is a complex called La Central. That project will be built on empty city lots.
"When it's completed, La Central will bring another 985 units of affordable housing to the South Bronx," Bloomberg said. "It will also bring some other resources which are sorely needed - a new YMCA, a rooftop farm, a day care facility, and supportive housing for veterans and New Yorkers with HIV and AIDS."
Developers expect to break ground on the complex that will also include retail and community space in 2015, and complete construction four years later. While that may even surpass the incoming mayoral administration, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said he's not worried about progress continuing.
"The standard has been set, and it's not just with the administration, but it's the psychology and the mentality of the developers," Diaz Jr. said. "People know that in the Bronx, in order to be successful, in order to be able to compete, you have to put out good product."
Diaz added that there are still development opportunities in the borough that could bring benefits to the community.