Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday finally released a plan to confront New York City’s housing crisis. The plan, titled Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness, addresses the city’s range of housing problems with a focus on reforming NYCHA, expanding affordable homeownership opportunities, creating more units of supportive and affordable housing, and eliminating unnecessary administrative barriers to housing for homeless New Yorkers. But unlike many of the affordable housing plans released in recent years, Adams’ plan does not set a clear goal for the number of new affordable housing units created.
When asked by reporters about how many homes the city is seeking to create, Adams declined to give a specific target and instead said, “as many people as possible,” according to Gothamist.
The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), an affordable housing advocacy group, praised Adams for not setting a numerical goal, calling those metrics “problematic” in a statement released Tuesday.
“We are thrilled after years of ANHD-led advocacy this administration has finally moved away from the problematic affordable housing unit count goals of past housing plans,” ANHD said. “That metric led to a focus on affordable housing solutions that simply chased after numbers instead of prioritizing the needs of struggling New Yorkers. It’s likewise important that the Housing Our Neighbors Blueprint incorporates the full spectrum of our city’s housing landscape, which spans from homelessness to NYCHA to tenant protections to homeownership, which is how our communities experience it.”
The group also called for more details to be released regarding Adams’ policies and a timeline to complete them, and said they will hold the administration accountable to “meet the housing needs and priorities for our most marginalized community members.”
Using insight gained through extensive collaboration with formerly homeless New Yorkers, as well as industry and community leaders, the Housing Our Neighbors plan sets forth five major steps that must be achieved in order to solve the city’s greater housing problem:
- Expanding affordable homeownership opportunities and helping communities build and maintain wealth.
- Accelerating the creation of supportive housing by completing the city’s goal of creating 15,000 supportive homes by 2030 two years early.
- Transforming the NYCHA by delivering resources for repairs and making services easier for residents to access.
- Eliminating governmental barriers to increase transparency and fully address the city’s homelessness crisis while giving New Yorkers in shelters access to vital services and resources.
- Streamlining the process of getting New Yorkers into affordable homes by eliminating the need for unnecessary paperwork and other obstacles.
“Safe, stable, and affordable housing cannot be a privilege — it is fundamental to my vision for a prosperous, inclusive city,” Adams said in a statement.
“We spoke with and listened to New Yorkers who have been impacted by the housing crisis in our city, and today we are delivering the most comprehensive plan in New York City’s history.”
Last month, Adams introduced ‘City of Yes,’ a series of three citywide zoning amendments that aim to create new affordable housing units, support small businesses, and reduce the city’s carbon footprint. As part of the amendments, the city would identify underused commercial buildings and parking requirements and convert them into housing.
The mayor’s new plan was released a day after the City Council approved a new city budget, which sets aside $5 billion over the next decade for the city’s affordable housing programs, according to the New York Times. This brings the city’s total investment towards affordable housing to $22 billion, a record-breaking number.
However, it is less than the $4 billion a year Adams initially promised on his campaign trail. Many elected officials believe it is not a sufficient amount to truly solve the city’s housing needs.
“We welcome today’s announcement, which will remove bureaucratic red tape that has served only to erect artificial barriers between our clients and the benefits to which they are entitled,” The Legal Aid Society said in a statement.
“But red tape is only a portion of the problem, and homeless New Yorkers, along with low-income households, need genuine access to safe, long-term and affordable housing. This is the only real solution to our city’s sprawling housing crisis, and we call on City Hall to continue to dedicate capital dollars to fund truly affordable housing development throughout the boroughs.”
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