The Real Deal New York

Bill de Blasio outlines affordable housing goals

January 23, 2014 06:15PM

Aiming to outdo Mayor Edward Koch, who created tens of thousands of affordable apartments in the 1980s, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who pushed for preserving rent-stabilized residences, Mayor Bill de Blasio promises to either build or hang onto 200,000 affordable housing units over 10 years.

This is no small goal, according to experts. New York City’s Housing Authority is already struggling to maintain its 334 housing projects as federal housing funds dwindle, and much of the city’s new development stock is somewhere on the “luxury” spectrum.

Some are skeptical.

“You should be ambitious,” Vicki Been, director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, told the New York Times. “But we should be realistic about what that would require.”

Affordable housing was a central tenant of de Blasio’s campaign, and he has vowed to require — rather than urge — developers to set aside units for low-to-moderate-income renters.

Alicia Glen, de Blasio’s new deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told the New York Times that the administration is only now kicking off the process of turning the mayor’s campaign objectives into a viable plan.

De Blasio has also called for tighter standards for tax subsidies — which he has dubbed “giveaways” — such as 421a tax credits. [NYT] Julie Strickland