Housing Preservation commissioner refutes NYU affordable housing study

November 25, 2009 10:39AM

Approximately 20,000 affordable homes have been lost in New York City from 2002 to 2008, due to rent deregulations and an increase of market-rate homes coming on the market, according to a recent NYU study. However, Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Rafael Cestero appeared on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC to share his take on the report’s findings. “While there was a loss of affordable homes from 2002 to 2005, the report also shows a significant net increase in affordable housing from 2005 to 2008,” Cestero said. “Former HPD Secretary Shaun Donovan laid a terrific foundation of 94,000 affordable units during that time.” He also attributed the net increase to Mayor Bloomberg’s aggressive 10-year affordable housing plan, which kicked off in 2005. “The losses of units incurred during 2002 to 2005 were completely arrested by 2008,” he said. Cestero said he plans to continue adding affordable units to the market and meet the HPD’s goal of adding 165,000 affordable units by the end of 2014. “While the inclusionary program, which requires private developers to build developments with 20 percent affordable units, will generate of thousands of units, the biggest piece of the plan will be investments in existing affordable housing buildings and insuring people are able to stay there for the long term,” Cestero said.