The Real Deal New York

City on track to meet mayor’s affordable housing goals: NYBC report

Report found workers have built almost 35K new units since 2014
By Eddie Small | November 15, 2018 07:00AM

The Goldin at Essex Crossing (Credit: Dattner Architects)

The city is on pace to meet Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious goals for affordable housing construction, according to a new report from the New York Building Congress.

The report found that workers have built almost 35,000 new units of affordable housing since 2014, with most growth occurring in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The mayor’s goal is to preserve or build 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026 and hopes to reach 40 percent of these through construction. The total of 34,482 represents about 29 percent of the construction target so far.

Overall, 109,767 units of affordable housing have been built or preserved since 2014, when de Blasio first announced his affordable housing plan. Of these units, about 75,000 have arrived through preservation efforts.

There were 9,140 units constructed in fiscal year 2018, the most for any fiscal year so far.

The Bronx has seen the most new affordable housing units at 11,670, or 40 percent. Brooklyn comes next with 8,494 units, or 30 percent, and Manhattan followed at 18 percent, or 5,289 units. Queens has seen 2,852 new affordable units, while Staten Island has seen 508.

About 58 percent of the new units are for households earning between 51 and 80 percent of area median income ($68,720 for a family of three), while 11 percent were for households making between 31 and 50 percent of area median income ($25,770 to $42,950). Roughly 19 percent were for households making 30 percent or less of area median income, which is $25,770 or less for a family of three.

The vast majority of affordable units have received some form of tax benefit, and only 12 percent have received no tax benefit at all. The most common one is the Article XI benefit for corporations building low-income housing, which 23 percent of projects have used.

“The lack of affordable housing for New Yorkers is an emergent and worsening crisis,” NYBC president Carlo Scissura said in a statement. “Members of the design, construction and real estate industry must continue to work with the mayor’s office to remedy this housing shortfall and keep New York City a great place to live.”