Commissioner: City already behind on affordable housing goal

New head of HPD exploring up-zoning, air rights transfer to help meet much-publicized target

Vicki Been
Vicki Been

Vicki Been, who was appointed last month as commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said the city is already running behind on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vow to build 200,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.

Been noted that the administration’s housing officials are considering a number of options to meet the goal — without allowing for a wave of construction of new 20-story-plus buildings. She said housing officials are looking into inclusionary zoning, minimal up-zoning, and air rights transfers, as well as other possibilities.

“I am not talking about density that overburdens the neighborhood’s services, but building that is coordinated with concomitant investments in parks, and schools, infrastructure and transit,” Been told landlords Wednesday at a BuildingsNY event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

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To meet de Blasio’s deadline, the city would have to either preserve or produce six housing units every hour, 11 hours a day, six days a week for the next 10 years, the New York Post said.

The Five Borough Housing Plan might also involve hiking taxes to spur development of empty parcels and taking a “hard” look at construction expenses, Been said. Officials intend to review the current financial programs, including the subsidized Mitchell-Lama housing program. [NYP]Mark Maurer