The Real Deal New York

De Blasio administration: affordable housing “mandatory”

The statement is the city’s most forceful position yet on affordable housing

September 06, 2014 04:00PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio and  Carl Weisbrod

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Carl Weisbrod

The de Blasio administration has issued its most forceful stance yet on affordable housing, declaring that affordable units will be a requirement for any future real estate project requiring a zoning change. The mandate will apply to both neighborhood-wide redevelopments and individual projects, according to the New York Times.

“You can’t build one unit unless you build your share of affordable housing,” Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission, told a packed room of landlords, planners and investors at a New York Law School breakfast on Friday. “You can’t build just market-rate housing, period.”

Weisbrod’s comments are the clearest glimpse yet of what the city’s plan to create or preserve 200,000 affordable units in the next decade will mean in practice.

“There will be a minimum that the developer has to do without subsidy,” Weisbrod said, noting that affordable units would be a baseline requirement for new projects that require a zoning change. “It’s mandatory.” [NYT] Christopher Cameron

  • Crian Bashman

    I don’t understand the sensationalism about this. Tell me what residential upzoning by Bloomberg didn’t essentially require affordable housing? Even if it wasn’t explicitly stated, to get the tax exemptions necessary to make the deal pencil out, affordable had to be included.

  • Edward Johnson

    This is why everyone should own NY real estate. Because politicians would rather direct one unit to their voting block then deliver four units to the open market. We should be building 50,000 units per year – our Mayor has no idea how to get out the way and let it happen.

    • Marc

      He’s a communist. How is he supposed to understand free markets? He gets to pick the winners and losers just like all politicians with their hands in your pockets.

      • There is no free market in real estate. Zoning, height and density restrictions, and land use restrictions are all forces artificially influencing the market.

        • Marc

          That was my point although I didn’t take the time to fully articulate that. The more restrictions the more there will be inequality.

          • But zoning, density restrictions, land use restrictions, and historic preservation zones aren’t going anywhere. People don’t want to buy a property and then have a fish factory or strip club move in next door. But all those things artificially inflate the cost of housing. Mandatory affordable housing might make market rate housing more expensive, but without the ability to bring back broad based rent stabilization, its the next best alternative to combating housing costs for some of the middle and lower income households in the city.

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