The Real Deal New York

Labor loses out in de Blasio affordable housing plan

Administration promised a study, but details are murky
March 17, 2016 11:39AM


From left: Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Crowley

Compromises were meted out to get Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing proposals approved, but labor groups come out nearly empty-handed.

Thus far, construction unions have the city’s commitment for a study.

But the exact details of the study remain murky. When de Blasio and Melissa Mark-Viverito, the City Council speaker, were pressed for specifics at press conferences, their responses were vague.

“So, the exact scope of the study has not been fully determined, but it is something we intend to get to work on quickly,” de Blasio said at a press conference, Politico reported.

Labor funded and aligned itself with the coalition, led by Real Affordability of All, against the mayor’s plan. After the promise of a study that will look at more affordability, the coalition switched sides and now supports the mayor’s proposals.

The administration also compromised with the City Council, including support for a bill that would require some landlords and property owners to prove no tenants were harassed before the city granted permission to demolish or alter a residential building.

Labor leaders wanted to tie some of their measures to the affordable housing legislation, but were rebuffed, according to Politico.

“I would have liked to have seen a better plan for labor, with standards that are attached to any financing by the city,” Council member Elizabeth Crowley told Politico. “I’m going to try and remain optimistic, although the administration has not shown for the past two years that it is interested in getting at the heart about whether or not these are living-wage jobs. This is a little bit kicking the can down the road, but I am hoping that something can come out of it.” [Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic