Deputy mayor signals affordable housing compromise

De Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing goes before City Council this week
February 09, 2016 10:35AM

Ahead of its meeting with the City Council, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is showing signs that it’s willing to compromise on its signature housing plan by tinkering with tiered income levels.

Critics contend the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan doesn’t go far enough for families making less than $40,000.

At a press roundtable on Monday, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said the administration is looking at changing the mix of income tiers to include more lower-income families.

The City Planning Commission approved a modified version of the affordable housing program last week, which would require developers to set aside 25 or 30 percent of the units in new buildings as affordable. Those apartments, on average, would serve families making 60 to 80 percent of the area median income or $46,620 for a family of three, Crain’s reported.

The compromise would ensure there were more units for households making less than 60 percent of the area median income. That would be balanced out by increasing the number of units for households that earn more 60 percent of the area median income.

A landlord would then have options about which combination of area median income the units target, and formulas are determined based on studies of financial feasibility and rates of return for real estate developers.

Developers can appeal to the Board of Standards and Appeals to waive affordable housing requirements if an economic hardship is proven, though that clause too remains controversial.

City Council hearings on the proposal start on Tuesday. [Crain’s]Dusica Sue Malesevic