Bill de Blasio calls for greater affordable housing to lessen “tale of two cities”

July 02, 2013 04:00PM

The city’s real estate boom has left poor New Yorkers looking up at, but not benefiting from, shiny new developments, according to mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio, who recently unveiled his campaign’s real estate platform.

If elected, de Blasio said he would create or preserve 200,000 affordable units, a significant number more than the 165,000 units that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted by 2013. He would also have the city’s public pension shell out $1 billion for 11,000 of the units.

Moreover, de Blasio would tweak the city’s so-called 80/20 program — which gives developers tax breaks for earmarking 20 percent of a development as affordable housing — to ensure that a greater percentage of projects are affordable.

“The amount of value that the public sector still holds that the real estate industry would like to get its hands on is extraordinary, and we need to drive the hardest bargain possible in each case,” de Blasio told Brownstoner.

He said he was not against development in areas that could accommodate greater density, such as Midtown East, but he opposed the proposal to build a soccer stadium and an expanded tennis stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. [Brownstoner]Zachary Kussin