De Blasio administration: affordable housing “mandatory”

The statement is the city’s most forceful position yet on affordable housing

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Carl Weisbrod
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Carl Weisbrod

The de Blasio administration has issued its most forceful stance yet on affordable housing, declaring that affordable units will be a requirement for any future real estate project requiring a zoning change. The mandate will apply to both neighborhood-wide redevelopments and individual projects, according to the New York Times.

“You can’t build one unit unless you build your share of affordable housing,” Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission, told a packed room of landlords, planners and investors at a New York Law School breakfast on Friday. “You can’t build just market-rate housing, period.”

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Weisbrod’s comments are the clearest glimpse yet of what the city’s plan to create or preserve 200,000 affordable units in the next decade will mean in practice.

“There will be a minimum that the developer has to do without subsidy,” Weisbrod said, noting that affordable units would be a baseline requirement for new projects that require a zoning change. “It’s mandatory.” [NYT] Christopher Cameron