Mayor de Blasio said today the state of our city is strong, but "we face a profound challenge" if the "soaring cost of housing" isn't addressed.  To confront this "hard truth," the Mayor outlined a plan to create more affordable housing during his State of the City speech today.  His administration plans to build or preserve 200,000 affordable homes in the next decade, including 10,000 units for seniors, 1,000 for homeless veterans, and 1,500 for artists.  How will he do it?  Mayor de Blasio wants to rezone six neighborhoods where new developments will be required to include affordable units.  He's also proposing a massive residential development on top of 200 acres of rail yards in Sunnyside, Queens.  Another plan is to build higher in neighborhoods that can support more density.  The Mayor also said several new ferry service routes will start running in 2017.  Most of today's address focused on housing, but de Blasio also touted the launching of free pre-Kindergarten for 50,000 kids, securing paid sick leave for 500,000 workers, bringing pedestrian deaths down to record lows, and ending the overuse of stop-and-frisk.  What do you say?  How would you describe the state of the city?  Do you support Mayor de Blasio's plan to create more affordable housing?  Would you welcome taller buildings being constructed in your neighborhood?  How is the cost of rent affecting you?  If you live in a coastal community, will you commute with the new ferry service?

Jenni's Thoughts:
It's good news that the mayor is focusing on building more affordable housing in the next decade, but as many of our callers asked tonight, what really is affordable housing? The new ferry service sounds exciting, offering more transportation alternatives to residents of New York City who don't live in the boroughs that they work in.

Your thoughts and comments are posted below.

Viewer E-mails:

I applaud the mayor for his efforts of creating more affordable housing, it was time that a mayor took on this most pressing and persistent issue, centered on the greed of the real estate industry.

Bay Ridge

A one term Mayor along with his racist speaker of the council.

Park Hill

I'm sure he will not be including park slope in the mandatory rezoning equation. The man built a fence around. Can you please give the working middle class a break in this city?  We are the ones paying most of the taxes here, funding many of these bprograms.  Now you are going make mandatory this plan to make our neighborhoods even more dense -to accommodate low income housing developments?  This from a man who built a security fence around Gracie Mansion. Legislation for this was drawn up by wealthy members who will not have to deal with any of the fallout. Program will  benefit !extremely poor & undocumented illegal immigrants. The quality of life is already suffering. Untie the hands of NYPD. Tale of two cities, anyone? Ps what about poor carriage horses Bill?

Bay Ridge

This mayor speaks the same red-rick time and again.  He also continues to make so many promises but they aren't ever for the Education: Now this Farina is saying that there are to many blacks and Hispanics being reprimanded and both Farina and the Mayor feel the need to speak to the students through counselors rather than taking disciplinary action against the students.  They feel that by doing it their way the dropout rate will decline. When does this mayor take care of this city and the people in it that pay taxes.  He needs to get busy with our daily needs.  Also why do we have yet another mayor in charge of education? ACLU is also involved.  What gives here?  [ WHERE ARE THE PARENTS/GUARDIANS ] SO MUCH OF WHAT GOES ON SHOULD NOT BE HANDLED BY THE EDUCATORS THE STUDENTS SHOULD BE READY FOR SCHOOL FROM DAY ONE !! We are going in circles one again as usual !!


Affordable housing needs to be built so some of the homeless families can be moved out of the shelters and into their own home, the shelters are no place for kids some are dangerous and there's no security to protect the families. The city can't fail the kids because they're our future. More schools need to be built to reduce the over crowding in schools and more UPK classes need to be added in all areas, they should accommodate all religions it's good for the young kids to start school at a early age.

Upper West Side

We been down this road b4, what is considered affordable housing in NY? I applaud the Mayor for bringing this important issue to the forefront. I hope he is successful because greedy
landlords or developers may not agree or support this plan "it is all about the  money money" and if you cannot afford it then bye bye or don't live there. I am shocked and disappointed to see what has happened to my old Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood. Warehouses and vacant lots are now apartments or condos and landlords are charging ASTRONOMICAL rent. Good luck Mayor! Have a good night John and get home safe 😊


I wanted to discuss a serious and unethical matter I was subjected to during my apartment hunt with BOND NY that began on 12.7.14 with a Bond NY agent, Joh McClelland. I had applied for a rent stabilized apartment and submitted all application documentation with all personal and financial data, but received no follow-up on the status on my application days after submission. When I emailed to confirm any status on the apartment, I was sent an obscene image of male balls and a Turkey drawing attached in reply to my email request. (I have  this email thread and can forward it as evidence as needed)

Immediately upon receiving this email I replied asking if it was intended for me, but did not get a response or apology for the obscene image. I forwarded the email that evening to Neil Fuchs and another BOND associate in order to file a serious compliant since this person had all my personal and financial  data and I felt I was being scammed.

The following day, I received a text from the Agent, apologizing for the image that he claimed was sent as a "virus." Later after I complained to BOND and he recanted in a  written apology for lying that the image was sent as a virus and for sending the image in his "error". But, I believe the obscene image was intentionally emailed to me in reply to my email asking for an update on my apartment application. Since then I have asked for weeks to meet with a BOND representative in person when I pick up my refund at the BOND office in order to discuss my concerns about this situation and how it has been handled -  but my requests have been completely ignored. 

I believe BOND management has failed in handling this matter fairly when they ignored my request to speak to a BOND rep in person about the matter since I was victimized by their agent and company and then just brushed aside and ignored.  I also asked for an update on how your agent was reprimanded for his unethical behaviour and his decision to lie to cover his actions but have also been completely ignored by all BOND management parties.


Once again my fellow New Yorkers, don't be suckered into the political play on words. Affordable Housing ISNT low income. That 89 story slap in face on Park Ave can also be considered affordable housing..... if your name happens to be Trump or Blomberg.

Upper East Side

De Blasio, the City Council and Albany are OWNED, as in BOUGHT AND PAID FOR, by the REBNY.  They do the bidding of their Masters.  They despise the middle class and want to drive us out.  NYC has become a soulless, greed-driven train wreck courtesy of the REBNY and the politicians they have purchased.

East Village

DeBlasso is a destroyer. He should be run out of town on a rail.

Port Richmond

The state of our city is indeed headed in a fair & equitable direction. We truly need true affordable housing. However, I don't agree that a multitude of generic high towers being cramped into neighborhoods where they previously were not present is the answer. I would prefer wider, shorter structures and continued rehabilitation of run-down and abandoned properties. If we don't wake up then ALL of New York City will become a haven for Plutocrats and the affluent. And also, the elimination of the 421a tax abatement for luxury developers who exclusively build for the rich is a must. Taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing towers for the 1%. Thank you.

Washington Heights

What about affordable housing for middle class people that want to live in nice neighborhoods and not be uprooted.





Anyone who was stuck at Queensborough Plaza last night waiting for MTA to provide shuttle buses--for over an hour in 20-something degree weather will be appalled to hear that Sunnyside Yards is bring considered for  housing.  The 7 train and bus service are HORRIBLE and overcrowded as they are.  Who are the kidding?  And when they say "affordable," do they mean studios at $1000 a month?  What is affordable about that?  For whom?


Is this the only way that Deblasio can come up with to combat rising rents in NYC or the lack of real affordable housing? More gentrification is the answer?What a brazenly ridiculous plan? Who is he kidding, he is giving developer's the green light. Something's afoot and it won't go well for the general populace of NYC.


Development is out of control in western Queens.  Trains are extremely crowded in the morning.. I have to let a few trains go by in the morning before I can get on to get to work.  When the existing buildings under construction in the Queens Plaza area are finally complete, and there are few..., it'll be unbearable. The infrastructure such transportation and local schools can't handle it. That needs to be addressed first before any development occurs.


Air rights development is costly and makes for unaffordable housing development.  That is what is taking place over the Hudson Yards and would hold true if the mayors plan were implemented over Sunnyside Yards. To truly provide affordable housing, the development has to be constructed affordably and developers need to be incentivized and the best incentive is to provide the developers with low cost or no cost property. Therefore why doesn't the city move to condemn and reclaim "zombie" or abandoned properties that have been foreclosed on by banks and let fall into disrepair? Or other identified city owned property that needs integrated development to improve neighborhoods like some NYCHA properties.



I absolutely think demanding affordable housing is not only necessary, it's ethically inclusive for such a great and diverse city like NYC. As an educator who holds both a BA and Masters degree, I can barely afford a so called "market rate" 1bd apartment in any so called "desirable" neighborhood in Manhattan. My husband and I are hopeful to qualify and be chosen for one of the mixed-income new developments in Queens!  The world is a better place because of teachers and artists! Let's get them into affordable and comfortable housing!!!

Long Island City

Deblasio may get a challenge when his term is up, it may be    #A B D (ANYBODY BUT DEBLASIO) He is heading into murky water. His not mentioning the issue with the police and the community was a slight to everyone that voted for him on his promise of reform....Again:  #A B D (ANYBODY BUT DEBLASIO).


Affordable for. Who? The rich have tax breaks. Affluent people are protected by rent stabilization The low income receive most of the rent breaks. The middle income who are the backbone of this city - pay for everything,  exempt from. Programs for their children, never fit the criteria for housing, either too high or too low. I live in public housing worked my entire. Life, and pay $1,800 in rent.  I can't move anywhere, I don't qualify for. Anything so Mayor DiBlasio - affordable for WHO? I see artist in your plan - who advocates for the MIDDLE INCOME!!!

Gentrification has knocked,And come into East Harlem. High rents are taking a big
Chunk of peoples money. Middle class and poor alike. We do need more affordable housing!!  I'm glad Mayor de Blasio is planning on creating affordable housing. And I hope it's really affordable for all people!!!

East Harlem

I have lived in New York, when the artist who lived downtown, helped make this City, before they were all driven out, because of high rents.  Remember how many amazing artists came from New York in the 80’s and how many have since emerged from here? We need affordable housing.


Where is the money coming from for the Affordable Housing Project ? Higher Taxes ?


It would cost $ billions to build affordable housing over Sunnyside Yards.  How feasible could it possibly be for developers to build there?   If the mayor wants a minimum wage indexed to the inflation rate, would rents in these so-called affordable housing units be pegged to inflation as well? There has to be a better way.


Forest Hills

A quick Google search will show us a few things: The median household income according to Project WNYC is roughly $50,000. A quick look at the HPD Affordable Housing Website will show that there are units available for this rate and lower than this rate in a number of neighborhoods (Murray Hill, Bushwick, etc.). If we use 30% of income going to rent, assuming the take home net income is around $42,000 for the family, we'll see that there are affordable units available for $50 a month more than the rate we come up with. To put it simply, you can live on $40,000 in this city. Is it hard? Absolutely. But it is by no means impossible. De Blasio's attempts to ensure more affordable housing units is a HUGE step in the right direction and should be applauded.  Let's just make sure there are no "Poor Doors."


I have no idea what kind of middle class who can afford market rent Craig was talking about earlier.

I'm a licensed mental health professional working for NYS. I guess I am supposed to be this middle class Craig is talking about... I used to live in a studio in Boro Park when I was in graduate school. I always thought that I will be able to afford better housing when I get my PhD and go to work.

Currently, I pay HALF of my monthly salary for rent and utilities to live in an apartment more appropriate for a student - I can't even have people over at my place. It is in a desirable neighborhood, I have to admit, but there is something wrong in this picture, I believe.


Mary Ann is absolutely correct - when I look at "affordable housing" lotteries for my income bracket (which is very rare because my income on paper is high) - the proposed "affordable" rent for one bedroom apartments is usually MORE than half of my take home salary!!! I have no idea how they come up with these numbers and I don't know what the solution is but rent is too damn high in NYC!



Brooklyn Heights

De blasio plan very ambitious.  Tales of two cities will continue since development will be in low income communities which haven't been rezoned in years.  de Blasio must  mandate  inclusionary. And that means midtown development too.



1/4 of Apts in NY NY are not lived in by the owners... the rich rule!


Its affecting in a sense that as rent is rising & wages not going up I see myself getting sent into court for late payments. I am having a very hard time making ends meet. As a single, working parent of 3, it has been difficult & its getting much more challenging for me.


For the record the 7 train only runs regularly during The U.S.Open. :~ ) Doesn't address the real problem. The rent s are high because the rents were allowed to be raised for years. A System is corrupt that allowed that. The real question is ... Can the city freeze the rents until the Affordable housing is resolved. Those already here need serious relief.


Although I have been regularly keeping up with police/community relations issues, I honestly find it refreshing that DeBlasio didn't really address the issue.  He has been addressing it pretty much every single day for the majority of his tenure so far and although extremely important, we can't only focus on a single issue in such a complex city with so many issues.  It's gotten to the point where it has eclipsed many other issues that are extremely important to all New Yorkers - like affordable housing!  As for whether DeBlasio's actual plans with regard to housing won't be tainted somehow by the developers who financially support him, that's another issue....

East Village

To The Mayor- Fix the city's crumbling public housing to revitalize neighborhoods.


I have watched as affordable housing became a thing of the past. As you may know, so many apartments left the "rent control and stabilization markets" …only to become coops and condos.  All these reductions in housing were never replaced and that is why we need to strengthen the housing market IMMEDIATELY by INCREASING apartments under the Rent Stabilization CODE. I think DB's plan is aggressive but has merit.  This however, should not be a green light for developers to continue to build while segregating the populous for tax benefit. We need to make sure that we have real estate developers work for the city's good and not their bottom line!


Kindly correct Jack from Glendale regarding the stables on the West Side. Those properties are privately owned. If the owner wants to sell it, as the owner of Junior's almost did, it is the owner's prerogative. No pretense or ulterior motive. The carriage horses should be off the horribly congested and dangerous streets of Manhattan because it is abusive having the horses work on them.

Prospect Heights

He's a phony.  He thinks we are all as stupid as he wants us to be.  He and his real estate developer pals want to turn this once-great city into a Dubai on the Hudson for the 1% and a bad version of Tokyo for the rest of us.  In Stuyvesant Town (which was raped and pillaged by his RE pals, on Bloomberg's watch) they are stuffing 6 or more students into what used to be one-bedroom apartments designed for small families or one or two people.  The regular middle class tenants have been treated like trash and discarded like trash.

Stuyvesant Town

I agree with the caller who said new affordable housing should be to New Yorkers only.  New Yorkers who have lived here for more than five years. The middle class is being pushed out of NTC. It's just too expensive whether you're renting or buying.  New Jersey, here I come!


Rents are going up while minimum wage is not increasing at the same pace. Rent increaments should be banned until the minimum increases accordingly.  

The Bronx

I'm a principal at an affordable housing development firm SKA Marin. What the Mayor is doing is great. It's ambitious but he will accomplish it. The callers who are saying it will be limited to the small percentage of people who need the housing are wrong. The plan calls for median income units  and senior units. Seniors are the fastest growing population in NYC and there is an extremely strong need for Senior housing.


I wonder how this mayor can speak of affordable housing in neighborhoods, when there are far less neighborhoods. It all sounds nice, Mr. Mayor, but please stop catering to the hipsters your predecessor waltzed into this town with false advertising and tax breaks for outsiders. When is enough, enough? When the hard-working NEW YORKERS already here are given back the New York City their tax dollars are building.


My wife and I lived have lived in the Lower East Side our whole lives, our families live here and we want our kids to live here. But we can't afford it. The affordable housing are lotteries. Getting the apt. are like hitting the New York lotto. And on top of that we make 40000 each so we get priced out of the affordable income and we don't make enough to pay the regular 3000 rent for 1 bedrooms. We have 2 girls and need a 2 bedroom and they want to count income that is not disposable, like counting my gross income before taxes. We are getting priced out our home.

Lower East Side

Many of those complaining about high rents drive SUVs and take three vacations a year.