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New York City added a record number of supportive housing units and affordable homes for homeless New Yorkers and seniors this fiscal year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. While the total number of affordable units preserved or created is down to 25,299 this fiscal year from last year’s 32,444, the city said it still expects to meet the mayor’s goal of creating 300,000 affordable homes by 2026.
This fiscal year, which ended on June 30, saw the financing of 2,000 affordable homes for seniors, 1,330 homes that provide critical support services for those experiencing homelessness, and 4,000 permanently affordable units.
“We are making tremendous progress in our goal to expand affordable housing in our city, and this year we’ve produced a record number of homes for our most vulnerable friends and neighbors,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Last fiscal year, the city financed 32,000 affordable homes, breaking the record set by Mayor Ed Kock in 1989. The reason for the drop in units financed this year is because a tax break for the Starrett City housing development, a massive development owned in part by President Donald Trump that sold last May, allowed the de Blasio administration to maintain nearly 6,000 Section 8 units.
“That really tipped the numbers last year,” Vicki Been, the city’s deputy mayor for housing, told NY1, referring to the Starrett City deal. “That’s a very rare portfolio. We can’t do that every year. So our numbers are perfectly on target.”
De Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 plan aims to preserve or construct 300,000 affordable units by 2026. According to the city, through this program, 135,437 units of affordable housing have been constructed or preserved since 2014.
Some argue the mayor’s plan does not do enough to address the city’s homelessness crisis. According to the Coalition for the Homeless, 8.5 percent of the total 135,437 units financed have been set aside for homeless New Yorkers.
Jacquelyn Simone, a policy analyst for the organization, called on the mayor to increase the total number of apartments for homeless families and individuals created by his housing plan to 30,000, with 24,000 created through new construction.
“Until the Mayor prioritizes homeless New Yorkers in this plan, the City will continue spending billions on housing without meaningfully reducing homelessness,” Simone said in a statement.
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