Mayor Bill de Blasio took a premature victory lap Thursday to tout his administration's strides in creating affordable housing. But with more neighborhoods in-line for rezoning, the fight for City Hall is far from over. NY1's Courtney Gross explains.
Go back to the 1980s when New York City's mayor made the construction of affordable housing a major tenet of his tenure:
"The purpose of these proposed changes is to stimulate construction of large-scale moderate-income housing," Mayor Ed Koch said in 1986.
Decades later, Mayor de Blasio is trying to break his record. "62,000 families, for whom the question of affordability is now answered," he said.
Thursday, de Blasio visited Williamsburg, one of the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in the five boroughs.
He announced that his administration built or preserved more affordable housing units in 2016 than in any other of the past 25 years.
In 2016, almost 22,000 units were built or preserved. The bulk of that was preservation —15,119 units.
It's a small slice of the mayor's plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in 10 years.
Since the plan was first announced, more than 62,500 units have been built or preserved.
"The preservation piece of this equation was always the dominant piece," de Blasio said. "It is also the faster piece."
We know the mayor's affordable housing plan has certainly created some controversy. Some neighborhoods have completely balked at it, and advocates say it doesn't help the neediest New Yorkers.
"Obviously, he should get some credit, but at the same time we need to do more and we need to do it quicker," Public Advocate Letitia James said.
To spur the growth of affordable housing, the mayor targeted a host of neighborhoods across the city for affordable housing development, including East New York, East Harlem, and Long Island City.
Soon, the city will add to that.
"Several others in the pipeline, new ones that we are identifying. Gowanus is something we are looking at right now," said Carl Weisbrod, the chairman of the city's planning commission.
NY1 has learned officials are considering adding Bushwick to that list, the neighborhood just a short distance from where the mayor took his victory lap Thursday.