New York City financed more than 32,000 affordable homes in the last fiscal year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. This breaks the record set by former Mayor Ed Koch in 1989 and sets a record for most new construction with 9,140 affordable homes. But with the additional units come additional costs: The city’s investment in the housing plan grew from $1 billion in fiscal year 2017 to $1.6 billion this year.
“This Administration has used every tool available to fight the affordability crisis in New York City,” de Blasio said. “It is paying off – we have created more affordable housing than any other time in our City’s history”
The increase in investment stems from the higher price for new construction, which jumped from $165,000 per unit last year to $200,000 per unit this year, the deputy commissioner for development at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Molly Park, told the New York Times. And the mayor upped his goal by 100,000 affordable units in his plan, Housing New York 2.0, which promises to preserve or construct 300,000 units by 2026.
In the last fiscal year, the city financed the preservation of 23,000 units and construction of 9,000 new units. Notably, a tax break for the Starrett City housing development, a massive development partly owned by President Donald Trump that sold in May, allowed the de Blasio administration to maintain nearly 6,000 Section 8 units.
Critics of the mayor’s plan say it does not do enough to help homeless New Yorkers.
“While the Mayor touts record affordable housing development, the number of homes created for homeless New Yorkers in Fiscal Year 2018 was actually down 12% from FY 20 and is projected to produce an average of fewer than one thousand units a year between now and 2026,” Giselle Routhier, policy director at Coalition for the Homeless, said in a statement.
“All told, the Mayor is spending billions on a plan that will do little to decrease record homelessness,” Routhier continued. “Mayor de Blasio can trumpet the headline number all he wants, but very little of this housing is going to the people who need it most.”
The mayor also announced the creation of a new tenant anti-harassment unit, dedicated to initiating legislation against corrupt landlords. Falling under HPD, the anti-harassment unit will investigate harassment with a staff of ten, including two attorneys.
“This message will spread to those bad landlords that there’s a lot more enforcement coming and they’re going to pay the price if they dare to harass their tenants,” de Blasio said at a press conference Thursday. “So, this is about making sure that our city becomes fairer every day. And this new unit is going to be in the vanguard of fighting for tenants who really deserve a break in this town.”
- New York City secured 24,500 affordable housing units last year, setting new record
- De Blasio increases affordable housing goal by 100,000 units
- City will convert cluster apartments occupied by homeless New Yorkers into affordable housing