De Blasio: People want city to determine which building goes where, what rent will be

Mayor says too much history stands in the way
September 05, 2017 10:05AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he and many New York City residents want the government to control every single new development in the city. But, alas, hizzoner said, history stands in the way.

“Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development,” de Blasio told New York Magazine in a recent interview.

The mayor, who is running for re-election in November, told the magazine that it if it was up to him, the government would control what kind of development would move forward on “every single plot of land,” and would determine the income-level of residents and the rent charged. By the mayor’s own admission, that “socialistic” vision is probably never going to happen.

Instead, the mayor said he’s focused on what he can do, like support rent freezes and create affordable housing. But at the same time, the mayor supported the revival of 421a, a lucrative 35-year break from property taxes on large projects — a program that’s been panned for not providing enough housing for lower-income tenants.  [NYM] — Kathryn Brenzel