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The Call Blog: Affordable Housing Advocates Await Mayor De Blasio's Speech

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Mayor de Blasio is postponing his highly-anticipated, long-planned speech on affordable housing to a later date. Word has it that it's because of a possible teachers union deal. But hopefully, it'll be soon because many are waiting to hear what he has to say. It was a big part of his tale of two cities campaign platform and many of our viewers today said they are eager to see some concrete solutions.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This entry was written and sent before the Mayor's office announced it is postponing the speech, with the exact date yet to be announced.

After four months in office, Mayor de Blasio is finally expected to address the affordable housing crisis in New York City. In a speech tomorrow, the Mayor will present details on his administration's plan to "build or preserve" 200,000 affordable units during the next ten years. On the campaign trail, de Blasio called his plan "ambitious," but said it can be done.

As a candidate, de Blasio vowed to require developers build housing for low-income and middle-income families when neighborhoods are rezoned, direct $1 billion in pension funds to affordable housing construction, and "fight to retake control of rent rules from Albany, so we can make our own decisions again." What do you say?

How much of your paycheck goes to pay your rent or mortgage? Is a lack of affordable housing affecting you? What do you want to hear from Mayor de Blasio tomorrow? What ideas do you have to make New York City rents more affordable? Are you pleased or disappointed he's addressing this issue after four months in office?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

How is he going to direct $1 billion in pension funds to housing with impacting our pensions? Next he will be crying the pension system is unsustainable. Another socialist and anti civil servant.

Park Hill

Once again surprise, surprise is no surprise at all. Mostly all of this administration have
been around city hall for years. Just what will 200,000 units do in a matter of 10 years.
Also if there has been a rise in rents for years and years and yet this mayor has chosen
to keep some of the people on the panel.
So many things need to be done and yet I see the mayor, speaker, advocate, comptroller,
borough presidents, city council members all advocating things that should be put on the
back burner. What happened with NYCHA? When do they start making those complex
housing units livable?
I was walking in my neighborhood one day this week and I notice more trees being planted
and now they are installing wrought iron fences around them. Note: We are not in favor of
all of these trees at all.
What happened to doing the pot holes. All the curbs have about 4 or 5 inch openings from
the curb out to the road and then all the water and gas covers have about 4 to 5 inches of
tar around them. They had better hope no one falls in them and breaks a leg.
Plus we can’t forget about the huge pot holes. In fact today they had to close of some lanes
on Bronx highway because of the bad weather and the danger of not knowing where the
pot holes were.
Where are we going. We are tired of the speeches. Just do the jobs. Where are all of the
big honchos in charge of all of these departments? This mayor had better call a meeting and
just read them the riot act and get going with some sort of plan.
My neighborhood is filthy !!!!

Morris Park

It's about time Mayor Diblasio is addressing the affordable housing situation, i hope section 8 will start up again because i received a letter stating that when it reopens they will notify me. The city should be able to make it's own decisions about rent rules to many landlords are turning their buildings into condos with high rents some people can't afford that. What I want to hear from Mayor Diblasio is what is he going to do for the single parents with a lot of kids that are just making it more affordable housing needs to be built,There's enough condos in the city.

Upper West Side

The mayor's heart is in the right place, but he has to be careful, first because of the economics involved -- trying to put downward pressure on rents could damage some landlords -- and second the legalities. If, for instance, he were to appoint a Rent Guidelines Board membership that tried to roll back some rents -- which tenant advocates have long called for -- it might well invite fresh scrutiny by the US Supreme Court which, two years ago, considered taking up the question of the constitutionality of New York's rent laws but ultimately declined to do so; any move too far in the direction of rolling back rents would risk the Court taking a fresh look at the laws involved and, in all probability, voiding them. He can do better at this task than Mr. Bloomberg, who was never as focused on affordable housing as those of us who live in the city would have liked, but he has to tread carefully.

Upper West Side

Housing is unaffordable because of taxation, regulation and fees imposed by the government. The problem is not resolved by picking other people's pockets.

What I want to hear from the so-called Mayor tomorrow is that he's resigning after realizing that he is incompetent.

Port Richmond

The Mayor and City Council should go after landlords who have illegally destabilized apartments. They can start with my landlord who has illegally destabilized nearly every apartment he owns. The rent/income level does not rise to Luxury Decontrol.

200,000 affordable units. Where? Not to be negative but this is never going to happen.

Midtown East

I am not an expert in housing, but I am concerned that DeBlasio will use a socialist philosophy,rather than using realistic approaches, to deal with the creation of affordable housing.


My first thoughts regarding this Affordable Housing Plan are:

01 Over Development should not be allowed

02 Senior Housing should be top priority

03 New apartment buildings should have commercial and retail space on first floor

04 Homeless People applying for affordable housing should be employed or in college; More unemployed people will only endanger the city finance structure;


We need to abolish the Urstadt Law and take the fate of the City's rent stabilized units out of the hands of the State and give that authority to the City. Landlords increase rent stabilized units with Major Capital Applications which are usually for work that should be part of ongoing maintenance. The DHCR never turns these applications down and the rent goes up significantly and is forever part of the base rent - long after the "MCIs" have been paid for.

East Village

We need to abolish the Urstadt Law and take the fate of the City's rent stabilized units out of the hands of the State and give that authority to the City. Landlords increase rent stabilized units with Major Capital Applications which are usually for work that should be part of ongoing maintenance. The DHCR never turns these applications down and the rent goes up significantly and is forever part of the base rent - long after the "MCIs" have been paid for.

East Village

I think the mayor needs to focus and dedicate his term towards affordable housing for the city's population. The cost of living even in the less desirable neighborhoods is just too much relative to the cost of living. The quality of life in New York will suffer and that is unfortunate.

Jon E.
Washington Heights

Builders should be required to set aside 30% of every development for tenants under the poverty line. And the rent should be regulated to be no more than 30% of the tenants' salary.

By the way, we should give De Blasio time--his administration is in its infancy--we must show some patience. There's a lot of anxiety and frustration built up over the years--illegal years--of Bloomberg.

West Side

My question is, why was the Real Estate Tax Abatement discontinued which phased in the Real Estate Taxes for new home owners, this made the 1 and 2 Family Homes more affordable for new home buyers.

As far as the NYC Council they have a long standing history of approving every Down Zoning application that was presented to them for properties in the outer Boroughs. How can affordable housing be built when entire neighborhoods were rezoned so as not to be able to build more then 2 Family homes and no Attached housing. Most land in the outer boroughs are now zoned so as not to be able to build 3 family homes or Garden Apartments. How did the Mayor vote, when in the council, when it came to zoning out affordable housing.

Staten Island

I have lived in the same apartment for 22 years. My rent has doubled but my income has not, yet people say my rent is low... It's all relative.
What exactly is affordable housing? How much rent is considered affordable?
There is hardly any affordable housing left - I wonder if the mayor has a realistic idea of 1- the amount of rent that is affordable 2- the reality of having enough affordable housing to accommodate the need.

I agree with one caller about the subsidized rentals.... I know people who started out eligible for a subsidized rental but now exceed the salary limits and yet take advantage of the subsidy .


The media has informed us recently how millionaire Russian oligarchs closely associated with President Putin were buying up real estate in New York and we know Mayor Bloomberg explicitly stated how he wished he could get all the millionaires in the world to come to New York. These are the kind of powerful political forces responsible for the housing crisis of present day NYC that Mayor de Blasio will have to grapple with.


Just something to think about, my fellow New Yorkers. The word AFFORDABLE. Those steel and glass towers with doormen are also "affordable" housing. Just not affordable for most of us.

Upper East side

I don't think we will ever get there. The housing model that's out there is to try and squeeze out as much money from families, or individual renters. The landlord gets thirty percent is ridiculous, the people that need affordable housing should be done at their base salary, not the gross salary.I f someone makes a 100k you have the landlords get 30% of that. That is after you have all your taxes taken out, come on. I believe according to base salary, and maybe after you get a raise to that base salary then increase your rent. The politicians and landlords don't care that you cant feed your family, or even clothe them. It is out of control.


I would like to see the Mayor address the AMI (Average Medium Income) rate that is set for NYC. The AMI is set by the Federal Government who uses the average income of the country. Of course NYC income are higher than most states and should be rated on its own scale.

Right now the AMI for NYC is at maximum of $54,000 for a family of 4 to be considered as Medium Income. We all know $54,000 is very low income for a family living in NYC. The AMI rate for Low Income is even lower. He should also offer some incentives to landlord so that they don't have to raise rents on tenants. We are being priced out of the NYC. Most of my fellow coworker are paying more than 50% of their income on rent. Soon we will not be able to live in NYC even though there's a restriction on where employee can live.

Ditmas Park

The term affordable Housing needs to be defined. It is a relative term, that is Affordable to whom, Donald Trump or Joe Schmo in the Bronx? PLEASE define the term and who it is supposed to apply to.


I live in a building where rents were about 1800 for a long time. In the last 2 or 3 years most of the rents have jumped to 3 and 4 thousand. Most of the people I knew moved to Bedford Stuyvesant . The rents are ruining the sense of community.

Cobble Hill

The problem is that incomes have not kept up with the cost of living in NY.

I have switched jobs several times and every time the increase in pay has been minimal. When I stayed in the same job the company almost always use the excuse of the economy to keep pay stagnant. If you are not earning 6 figures you live pay check to paycheck.


The Mayor should concentrate on keeping the affordable housing we have already. I have been in my building since 1977 with Mitchell Lama... Now in 2014, they want to me out of the1 bedroom apartment I have been in for many many years and put me into a small studio room that cannot even fit a bed in..
When they got out of the Mitchell Lama program 11 years too early.. They got the tax breaks but did not follow their part of the deal.

HPD came in but now they want to take us out of our apartments..
I have wrote to the mayor and he has not responded..
Before getting new affordable housing.. take care of the affordable housing that is disappearing and let us keep our apartments..
They are trying to downsize the old Mitchell Lama tenants who have been here at Kips Bay court .. the old Phipps Plaza.The people who built this neighborhood.The once who were climbing over crack vials changing the neighborhood...

They are giving us 15 day move letters.

O. Lee

The plot to minimize and eventually eliminate affordable housing started when Bloomberg came into office. His plan prior to coming into office was to move out the poor, low and middle income while allowing the creation of higher priced new development. I think that Mayor Deblasio’s plan is definitely achievable. His administration need to take a serious look at what is really happening. Tenants are being forced out . Section 8 and other program eligible applicants are scrambling to secure units that no longer exist; or property owners are not accepting programs.

If affordable housing such as section 8, ECT. Reopens; tenants need to pay their third as per contract. Tenants’ not paying rent has added to the crises. I have seen tenants who have had to pay as little as 150.00 and they don’t pay it.


People have to work two jobs just to pay rent, and put food on the table.

They are putting buildings all over East Harlem, but they are not for the people that live here.

People that make minimum wages are struggling just to have a roof over their head.

Mitchell Lama buildings are beginning to disappear.

I want to see what exactly mayor DeBlazio is going to do.

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