New York City Mayor Eric Adams is promising more money for affordable housing, but some are saying the pledge doesn’t go far enough.
During his first State of the City address, Adams pledged an additional $5 billion of affordable housing funds over the next decade, Crain’s reported. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development would receive $3.6 billion for housing subsidies, while NYCHA would get $1.2 billion for the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together program, along with another $200 million for in-unit repairs.
The $1.2 billion for NYCHA would go to the creation of a new NYCHA entity that would act as a trust, which could trigger more federal subsidies to bond out costs of new capital repairs.
Adams said the money would be used to “make critical repairs at NYCHA, subsidize those who need help staying in their existing homes, and build more deeply affordable housing for the entire city.”
Some argue that $5 billion over 10 years is not enough, however. NYCHA spent $4.1 billion last year alone and needs about $40 billion to make repairs across its 335 housing developments. Housing advocacy groups have been calling for $1.5 billion in annual funding — triple what Adams proposed.
“Unfortunately, the Adams administration’s modest capital increase for housing merely treads water and will not make a meaningful dent in this emergency,” Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference, told Crain’s.
Private landlords have stepped in to speed up NYCHA’s repair rate. Last year, Related Companies joined forces with Essence Development to carry out $366 million worth of repairs across more than 2,000 units in Chelsea. It is part of the PACT program, which converts units into federally funded Section 8 housing.
The affordable housing push comes as the state budget did few favors for affordable housing. The 421a tax break didn’t make it into the budget, setting the stage for it to expire on June 15. The program provides tax exemptions for developers if a percentage of new housing units are set aside as affordable.
Additionally, an attempt to subsidize housing for homeless New Yorkers was also abandoned, despite support from both tenant and landlord groups.
[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner