The Bill de Blasio Administration's affordable housing numbers are down this year from last, but it did meet its annual goal of preserving or creating 25,000 affordable units.
Here are the numbers: 32,244 in fiscal year 2018 and 25,299 for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The city says a big reason for the drop is a deal ($460 million to be collected in property taxes through 2054) reached last year to keep roughly 5,000 units in Starrett City in Brooklyn affordable.
"That really tipped the numbers last year," explained Vicki Been, New York City's deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development. "That's a very rare portfolio. We can't do that every year. So our numbers are perfectly on target."
De Blasio's target is 25,000 units per year to get to his goal of producing and preserving 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026. The city projects the cost to taxpayers at $17 billion, an investment that officials say is appreciated by those lucky enough to land an affordable apartment.
"When I come here, I thank the fella upstairs," Trevor Johnson said about his affordable apartment. "I say a prayer."
Johnson just moved into the development in the West Farms section of the Bronx in April.
"I just lie down here and I feel like I'm in heaven," the Vietnam War veteran told NY1 while sitting in front of his bed.
The unit is less than 300-square-feet, a micro apartment, but it has everything that the 71-year-old needs. He was homeless and living in city shelters for 14 months. The stress took a toll.
"I used to be crying. I used to be crying, and I ended up Downstate [SUNY Downstate medical center] because I was so scared."
He was urged by a hospital social worker to seek subsidized housing. He applied to six buildings over six months for units set aside for seniors and the homeless.
"When the lady called me and she told me we were coming up here, I was jumping up," Johnson said with a laugh.
The city says making seniors and the homeless a priority is costly.
"It requires a lot more capital. Those are typically very, very low-income folks," said Been.
The de Blasio Administration produced and preserved 1,968 affordable housing units for seniors and 2,682 for the homeless in the year that ended June 30, the most ever since de Blasio took office.