The Real Deal New York

Mayor no longer claims zoning change would yield 50K affordable units

De Blasio plays down zoning rule’s affordable housing impact

August 14, 2015 08:30AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio at the announcement of his affordable housing plan last year

Mayor Bill de Blasio walked back his campaign pledge to create 50,000 new units of affordable housing through “mandatory inclusionary zoning” rules.

The proposed zoning rule change is part of the Mayor’s oft-voiced plan to create or preserve 200,000 affordable units over eight years.

At a press conference, De Blasio called mandatory inclusionary zoning a “crucial building block” and “an important contributing figure” to his overall plan, but wouldn’t give a concrete estimate on the number of units it would create, Politico reported.

Mandatory inclusionary zoning would require developers who build on rezoned land to devote a sizable percentage of units to lower-income residents. One proposal would require reserving 25 percent for families making 60 percent of area median income. Another would demand 30 percent for families making 80 percent of AMI in another. The change will be certified in September and will undergo the standard community review process.

De Blasio’s 50,000-unit estimate was questioned by experts when he first voiced it in 2013. The Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, which supports the plan, recently reduced its own forecast. Instead of 25,000 to 50,000 units, the group now thinks the zoning rule change will create just 13,800. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg