The Real Deal New York

City Council’s land use committee blesses mayor’s housing plan

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, Zoning for Quality and Affordability set for full Council vote
March 18, 2016 11:36AM

Melissa Mark-Viverito Bill de Blasio

From left: Melissa Mark-Viverito and Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s two-pronged plan to create more affordable housing cleared the City Council’s land use committee Thursday, with the proposal now set for a vote before the full body next week.

The land use committee voted 15-2, with one abstention, to approve the mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposals, which are expected to more strictly enforce affordable housing requirements and easy zoning codes to enable affordable development.

The committee’s chair, Council member David Greenfield, described the mayor’s initiatives as “literally the best affordable housing plan of any city in the United States of America,” and read aloud a seven-page letter, from de Blasio to Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, outlining changes to the proposal secured during talks with the City Council.

The likely passage of both measures represents a shift from the widespread opposition seen across the city over the past several months, when the proposals met significant, nonbinding opposition from most of New York’s 59 community boards and five borough boards, according to Politico.

But the mayor and his team worked to mobilize support for both Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, running ads and engaging in talks with council members. The talks ended up altering de Blasio’s original plan significantly but ended in the two sides reaching a deal this week, according to the website.

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing was changed to now require more low-income housing from developers: instead of three options for developer subsidies, the council introduced a fourth option targeting families of three making around $31,000 a year. [Politico]Rey Mashayekhi