The city added 21,963 affordable housing units in 2016, the most in 27 years
When Mayor de Blasio took office in 2014, he vowed to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over 10 years, and so far, he’s made good on his word, despite the loss of the city’s controversial 421-a program. The Times reports that today the Mayor will announce that his administration has added 21,963 affordable units in 2016, the most since 1989. Of these apartments, 6,844 were in newly constructed buildings and roughly 4,400, or 20 percent, were reserved for low-income New Yorkers earning less than $25,000 (much more than the eight percent goal). More than 30 percent were in Manhattan, followed by 29 percent in both the Bronx and Brooklyn.
Part of the reason why the initiative has been so successful is that capital funding for housing increased to $798 million this year, up from $400 million in 2014. And things look good for the year ahead since, in November, Governor Cuomo allocated $300 million in federally tax-exempt bonds to subsidize the cost of constructing new affordable housing units. That brought the city’s total bond capacity to $771 million, an 11 percent increase from the year prior.
As the Times notes, the only time more affordable housing was created in a given year was in 1989 when Mayor Koch added 23,136 apartments. Since taking office, the de Blasio administration has built or preserved a total of 62,506 apartments. In response, the Mayor said, “I want people struggling out there to know that this is still your city. We are fighting to keep New York a place that seniors, the middle class and families trying to make it to the middle class can actually afford.”