Developers fume over city plan to cut affordable housing spending

A petition is calling on the mayor to undo cuts, which developers say could lead to investors retreating from future projects

New York /
May.May 27, 2020 12:00 PM
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

Affordable housing developers are pushing back on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to cut the budget for housing.

The developers say their projects are on hold and may fall through entirely as a result, according to Politico. Others say the cuts and delays may prompt some developers to steer clear of future affordable housing projects.

And a petition started by the New York Housing Conference asking de Blasio to undo the cuts has garnered 87 signatures from developers, housing advocates and lawmakers.

Some projects that were relying on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s loan program won’t be able to continue. Other developers worry that projects will be put on the hold, prompting equity investors to back out of the deals.

“The risk here is we have a project that we’ve been working on for two or three years, the plans are approved,” said David Cleghorn, chief housing officer at HELP USA, to Politico. “If we have to just put things on the shelf for a few months, I just don’t know what the investor is going to do.” He added, that was the real concern, “that you start to see equity leave the market, which then creates more need for subsidy.”

HELP USA was told that its 72-unit project in the Bronx would not be able to start this year as previously planned, Cleghorn said.

Jeremy House, a spokesperson for HPD, told Politico that the agency is continuing to process and close some deals but said it has to make decisions about which projects to back. He called on the federal government to provide more support in rent relief and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. [Politico] — Erin Hudson


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