As Mayor touts affordable housing, critics say the city doesn't do enough for poor New Yorkers
Mayor de Blasio is celebrating what he says is a major milestone in his affordable housing plan: a record number of affordable apartments preserved, financed, or created over the last three years. But critics say City Hall is not going far enough to help New Yorkers who are most in need. Our Grace Rauh has the story.
Dianne Crencher won the lottery. Big time.
"It's phenomenal," Chrencher said. "I never thought I could afford something like this."
She, her husband and her husband's uncle share a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Harlem with a wide terrace. There is a gym in the building, a community room for parties and laundry as well. Her rent is just $836 a month.
"I went online and I applied at NYC Housing Connect," Crencher said. "And they emailed me."
The mayor visited her apartment Thursday to talk up his affordable housing program
His plan calls for building or preserving 200,000 affordable apartments in the city. So far, the city says it has kept more than 52,300 apartments affordable through preservation efforts. And construction on more than 25,000 new affordable units has begun. Of those, about 4,000 are finished apartments.
"I think this epitomizes what we are trying to achieve with this affordable housing program," de Blasio said. "To give people security."
But some New Yorkers say the mayor's plan is failing to provide housing for the city's lowest-income residents. A portion of the new apartments are earmarked for families that make up to $140,000 a year.
"A lot of the affordable housing he is creating isn't really affordable for the residents in those communities," said Dennis Osorio of Community Voices Heard.
De Blasio's housing plan is part of a ten-year program. But it will take longer than that for all the construction of new affordable housing apartments to be finished. Officials predict all those units will be occupied by New Yorkers by the middle of 2026.