Saturday, December 20, 2014

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The Call Blog: Mayor De Blasio Unveils $41 Billion Affordable Housing Plan

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It is expansive and expensive. The plan also requires developers to opt in. They could also choose to wait to build for four years and hope Mayor de Blasio loses re-election. With millions of dollars at stake for them, it may be worth the wait.

Mayor de Blasio calls it the "most expansive and ambitious affordable housing agenda of its kind in the nation’s history." Today, the Mayor outlined his vision for a ten-year plan to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments in the five boroughs at a cost of $41 billion. $8.2 billion would be tax dollars from city residents, while the rest would be a combination of State, federal, and private funds.

The plan looks to require developers to include cheaper apartments within market-rate projects, re-zone areas to create more housing density, and study which neighborhoods can handle more development. The City will also launch two programs to redevelop hundreds of vacant sites, and it will work to "prevent abuses of the vacancy and luxury decontrol provisions" currently in place. What do you think?

Do you support the use of tens of billions of tax dollars to build affordable housing in the five boroughs? Should developers be required to include apartments for lower-income New Yorkers in all of their market-rate projects? Do you want to see more construction in your neighborhood? Are you confident the City will be able to curb the practices of certain unscrupulous landlords?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

what happens to the low income people that makes under 25,000 ? some are put in projects that are so disgusting and never upgraded . Your only helping the middle income people. The housing projects needs new kitchens, new floors and windows. They so filthy and undercare its a shame.


Hi John-

Housing is an issue that affects NYC residents of all walks of life. Unlike Universal Pre-K and Labor contracts, this housing crisis is important to the city population in every borough: young people to senior citizens. The implementation of the Affordable Housing Plan will be the single most important issue that will make or break for the De Balsio Legacy.

Ahmed (Chelsea)

I have helped friends apply for the 80/20 buildings here in NYC. Now they are paying $1,180 for a 3 bedroom apartment and I am paying over $6,000 for mine. I am also working 2 jobs to do this. I must pay full tuition for my kids for college, this family will get assistance. Again, I am working 2 jobs to do this.

What about help for the middle class? Who will help us?

Judith NYC

My wife and I are living in Washington heights. A two bedroom. Cost of rent 2500 a month. Come June, 4% on top of that will be 2600. A CAP IS NEEDED. ITS GETTING OUT OF HAND. 1 2 3 rooms are priced to high to start.


affordable housing should help many new yorkers, with the price of food nd rent going up its a good idea. But the downside is most new yorkers are not happy with their income nd can barely get by. And may not meet the requirements

Angelo ,queens_

I think that this affordable housing plan sounds great. But I am wondering just how many of these units will actually be built in Manhattan? People seem to be under the assumption that those that live on the upper east side or upper west side are are not suffering by having to live check to check to cover their rent, don't realize that we are are also being priced out of our apartments as well and that we are not all wealthy.

Upper east side

I'm a senior citizen and receive social security. My annual income qualifies for low income housing but how do they treat assets -- such as 401K or CDs that I'm living on.

Thank you.

Upper West Side of Manhattan

Great plan but I'm worried about the following:

1. We have to keep growing all types of housing supply, not only affordable housing, otherwise we face the threat of ending up like San Francisco. The current administration will only focus on affordable housing stopping construction of luxury housing. If this happens, wealthy people will take over all the affordable housing out there. The problem stems that the economic welfare of high income earners are growing quicker than housing supply.

2. We have to overcome NIMBY (Not in my backyard)


Dear John,

Mayor de Blasio had his Housing Report in his hand while giving his speech in Brooklyn, I would like to know how that report may be obtained because I am curious about his plans for Staten Island.

Park Hill, Staten Island

Hello John,

Did the plan detail any impact on existing New York City public housing and its current residents?

Maria - Upper West Side

The mayor had the power tonight to make a million rent stabilized units more affordable tonight at his newly appointed Rent Guidelines Board, but instead of using his power to roll back rents for the first time after all the huge Bloomberg increases, the board voted for a range of 0 to 3% on one-year leases and 0.5 to 4.5% for two-year leases. That's better than what Bloomberg would have done, but it does not make "stabilized" housing affordable for many, many people. We need a roll back and will push for one at the final vote at the hearings next month and at the final vote on June 23.

London Terrace Tenants Association
New York, NY

This would be nothing but a glorified city housing project initiative. It was tried in East New York and parts of the Bronx under the Nehimiah program and just does not work. These areas have become eyesores riddled with crime. The city should start clearing the freeloaders out of NYCHA to make room for working people who need affordable housing.

Forest Hills

Yay, At least this is a start. A housing plan that reflects the dire emerging needs of many New Yorkers. I do hope it works out. We do not need more luxury housing, that in the long run may be transient. We need housing that keeps native New Yorkers where they would like stay, with affordable housing.

West Brighton, NY

Hi John,

Happy Cinco de Mayo :) It is nice 2c that the Mayor has kept his word on his affordable housing plan. As the question that is being asked, "What is affordable and to who and for how long? " How long will it last b4 greedy landlords/owners start asking for money and evict the tenants that cannot afford to stay.

Tony, Albany

Ten years is too long. There are abandoned buildings that can be available within the year that are owned by the city. New York is not serious about real affordable housing. Simply because if they did market value rent would be ended and income and jobs would increase. Otherwise New York is going to run people out if NY for good making it's future very bleak. New York may think it can get along without poor people but rich people won't be able to maintain NY.

From Stephanie
In Corona

Maybe I missed it, but I don't think I've seen anything in this new report about what "affordable" means. Thousands of New Yorkers in their 60s, 70s and beyond are finding it difficult to pay their "stabilized" rents -- some pay 50% or more of their retirement income for rent.

Ellie - Turtle Bay





Two comments. One, Federal, State and Local funds do not come from the government. They come from the pockets of private citizens being picked by the government at all 3 levels. Two, if a person wants an apartment, why are other people forced to pay for it through taxation? Of you want something, anything, you gotta pay for it. Period. This scam must be stopped. The unscrupulous politicians must be removed from office and their department shut down.

Port Richmond, SI

Hi John,

I’m ready to break out in song ‘PROMISES – PROMISES’ Revive that play. What did this DeBlasio do sitting in the big chair as public advocate? So now it will cost us tax dollars and also he is suppose to be able to tell just how many low income apartments in each borough should be set aside for low income housing. DeBlasio is going to work with the developers and the real estate people. He and the speaker already owe favors to the real estate and private developers. As far as I’m concerned he can do all the talking he wants and propose the different projects that will once again take 10 years. People will not be around to benefit any of this and also what happens to the NYCHA mess and also what about the landlords that have been given the city and thus they have the upper hand in all of this. How does this problem fit into DeBlasios dream.

The administration is not ready for prime time = We are being sold a load
of “HAY” .

Thank you John,

Finally, this mayor is showing some of the real point to electing a liberal Democrat -- the prevention of abuses surrounding luxury de-control is something long overdue, and overlooked on both a city level during Michael Bloomberg's extended tenure in City Hall, and on the state level not only overlooked but encouraged during the years in which George Pataki ran Albany.

This is the first policy decision by Mr. De Blasio in any of his jobs that I can agree with.

Upper West Side

Hi John

Mayor Diblasio should build affordable housing on vacant sites, there are so many unused vacant sites in the city and in the outer boros that can be used for affordable housing. I'm glad the city is launching the program for luxury and and vacancy decontrol.Tax dollars should be used to develop affordable housing and the developers should be required to build apartments for lower income New Yorkers in their rent stabalized buildings, so many homeless families are living on the streets everyone should have a place to call home.


I'm glad that mayor de Blasio is proposing this much needed affordable housing initiative, an issue that has been basically ignored by all his predecessors.

Bay Ridge

This is a much needed band-aid to address the serious problem of inequality in New York- but I wonder if it will actually reinforce this "Tale of Two Cities" that de Blasio vowed to fix. Will this amplify the problem we've seen in other mixed market/affordable buildings where certain residents are restricted from using certain amenities? Will there be an economy to support lower income residents lucky enough to secure one of these 200,000 apartments? Or will neighborhood businesses only cater to those who can afford a $6 latte? I certainly applaud the effort and recognize that this is a major step in the right direction; but lowering costs is only part of the solution - raising income is the other major part. Excited to see what else this administration comes up with.

Terence, Chinatown.

I don't want to pay for this. I believe in a free market real estate economy but I do support ensuring that people who currently live in affordable housing get to stay there and landlords who do something unsafe or illegal should be punished by the full extent of the law.

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