MAYOR DE BLASIO TO COMPLETE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN 2 YEARS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE, ACCELERATE PACE AND EXPAND GOALS
City will boost production to 25,000 apartments annually, administration sets new goal of 300,000 apartments by 2026
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that his administration is now on track to build and protect 200,000 affordable homes by 2022, two years ahead of schedule. With the addition of new tools, programs and funding, the City will ramp up to securing 25,000 affordable apartments annually by 2021 and beyond—a pace it has never before reached. With that machinery in place, the City is taking on a new goal: 300,000 such apartments by 2026, enough for the entire population of Boston or Seattle.
In the coming days, the Mayor will unveil a battery of new programs designed to realize this new goal. Those efforts will target seniors, homeowners and tenants in existing affordable housing who need protection. To accelerate, the plan will require an additional $150 million per year in the current 4-year financial plan. This will bring the City's investment in achieving 100,000 more homes to about $1.3 billion per year over nine years. Future financial plans will reflect the commitment.
“We’ve kept our promises to New Yorkers, and now it’s time to go farther and faster. Like Mayor Koch before us, we are building an engine that will keep families in safe, decent and affordable homes for decades to come. We will keep this a city for seniors, veterans, working families and the middle class,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“Every year, we have pushed this plan deeper to reach more people in more neighborhoods. Completing this plan two years early means tens of thousands more families will come home sooner to homes they can afford. I am so proud of our agency teams and all our partners who are building an engine for affordable housing that will continue building and protecting homes for years to come,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.
Mayor de Blasio announced the first new program today. The “Neighborhood Pillars” program will deploy a $275 million public-private fund to target fast-changing neighborhoods where aggressive speculators threaten traditional rent regulated apartment buildings. Through the largest program of its kind in the United States, the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Housing Development Corporation will provide financing to non-profits and other mission-driven organizations to purchase older rent-regulated buildings to keep them affordable and keep current tenants in place. The program will secure an additional 1,000 affordable homes each year—7,500 total—putting those buildings in good hands before bad actors put tenants at risk of illegal rent hikes, harassment or eviction.
The program will help mission-driven non-profits grow and will take advantage of their ability to identify the buildings most at risk of speculation and rapid turnover. It will leverage funding from private-sector banking partners and philanthropic organizations.
Learn more about the new “Neighborhood Pillars” program here.
“The gains we have made to date through Housing New York are borne out not just in the numbers, but in the people we are reaching through the affordable housing we build and preserve. We are excited to act even more boldly and decisively by tackling this new, more aggressive goal and by deploying more tools to safeguard affordability,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank the Mayor, my colleagues at HPD and HDC, and our many partners for their tireless work and commitment to ensuring New York is a more just and equitable city for generations to come.”
“We are proud to stand with the Mayor as he expands the City’s commitment to the people of New York with an accelerated housing plan,” said Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “Together with our many dedicated partners we have set a solid course to reach the ambitious goals of Housing New York and are primed to amplify our production of affordable housing to reach even more New Yorkers in need.”
When the de Blasio administration took office, it inherited a strong foundation of affordable programs capable of building and protecting approximately 15,000 homes each year. Since 2014, the City has increased that pipeline to more than 20,000 per year. The new annual target of 25,000 per year represents a 66 percent jump from pre-2014 levels, and will represent a sustained level of production never before achieved by the City.
To date, the City has secured 77,651 affordable homes—enough for more than 200,000 New Yorkers. The City’s efforts to reform and accelerate affordable housing have included:
- More housing for the lowest-income New Yorkers than ever before: Over 40 percent of all affordable homes secured last year served individuals making less than $33,500 or $43,000 for a family of three. New programs like ELLA (Extremely Low and Low Affordability) are now among the largest drivers of affordable housing in the city.
- More protections to keep New Yorkers in their homes: Rent regulated tenants saw two consecutive years of rent freezes, the City is funding free legal services for all tenants facing eviction, a new Anti-Harassment Task Force is laying criminal charges against landlords who put tenants’ safety at risk, and targeted preservation efforts are keeping hundreds of buildings affordable.
- A new paradigm for building: Permanent affordable housing is now mandatory in newly-rezoned residential buildings and neighborhoods, the City has passed reforms improving the quality and lowering the cost of affordable home construction, and tax incentive programs now require at least 25 percent of new apartments to be affordable—with no tax breaks at all for luxury condos.
- A bigger network of housing providers: More partners than ever are building and protecting affordable housing in the city. Non-profit organizations are involved in a third of all affordable projects, the City is cultivating MWBE partners with special requests for proposals, and City worked with Enterprise to fund a number of emerging Community Land Trusts.
- No stone left unturned: The City has added more affordable housing into existing projects like Lighthouse point on Staten Island and the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg. The City has put two-thirds of its remaining public lots suitable for housing into production, and leveraged opportunities to add housing to City projects like the renovation and expansion of the Sunset Park library and at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The Mayor made today’s announced at CAMBA Gardens II, one of the first new affordable and supportive housing construction projects undertaken under the Mayor’s housing plan in 2014. Today, tenants are moving into 293 brand new homes in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
“Wherever I go in Brooklyn, the urgent demand for affordable housing is the same. We need to exhaust every resource we have to preserve and create the affordable homes that Brooklynites need to stay in the communities they helped to build. I thank Mayor de Blasio for advancing our City’s affordable housing goals further forward and committing billions of dollars in new investment to this most critical of endeavors. My administration also appreciates the efforts to empower mission-driven non-profits to acquire buildings at risk of falling out of the rent regulation rolls, helping us combat those who may seek to engage in tenant harassment. Brooklyn must continue to be a home to everyone from everywhere,” said the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
State Senator Jose Peralta said, “Affordable housing is key in keeping New York what it is, a dynamic, diverse metropolis. Our city must maintain its identity by helping hard-working New Yorkers stay in the neighborhoods they built, and this is why I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration’s programs to increase the number of affordable homes.”
“This city administration and I share the deep belief that safe, affordable housing is a life-changing commodity that stabilizes communities and infuses families and individuals with hope for the future,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Housing Committee. “I commend Mayor de Blasio for achieving this housing plan and I'm pleased that these successful public-private partnerships will allow so many additional New Yorkers to realize the American Dream.”
“Housing is the most critical necessity for the residents of our city. The preservation and creation of truly affordable housing will guarantee that our communities remain intact,” said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa. “I commend the efforts of Mayor de Blasio and his administration in making housing a priority for New York City.”
“By dramatically preserving and expanding New York’s affordable housing stock, Mayor de Blasio’s administration is helping to ensure that our city remains livable city for people from all walks of life, including middle and low-income New Yorkers,” Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried said.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) said: “New Yorkers are increasingly unable to afford to continue living in New York City. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for the almost 80,000 units of affordable housing already secured as well as the ambitious goal of 300,000 affordable units in the next decade. People in my district are facing new and evolving threats to their homes, such as preferential rents and the accompanying large rent increases. We must ensure that everyone has the ability to afford to live in our great City, and this affordable housing plan is an important first step.”
Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, member of Housing Committee, stated, "Affordable housing is a cornerstone of achieving an American Dream. I praise the mayor on his aggressive focus on this important problem. Every day I get people walking into my office looking for housing. I hope that this initiatives help to begin to solve homelessness problem and preserve housing for those who would otherwise faced imminent evictions as they could Not afford increased rent. Thank you mayor de Blasio, especially for your focus on seniors, veterans, working and middle class of our city who are in much need of quality affordable housing today!"
“I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio and HPD Commissioner Torres-Springer for their ambitious efforts to create and preserve affordable housing at such a groundbreaking scale that is years ahead of schedule. NYC proudly invests in its residents to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to quality affordable housing at a broad range of income levels. I look forward to seeing the results of Housing New York's new goals across our diverse communities and congratulate my Council colleagues for their important role in funding and approving such projects in all five boroughs,” said Council Member David Greenfield, Chair of the Committee on Land Use.
“Affordable Housing is the biggest issue of the day, so thankfully we are heading in the right direction in the Mayor’s housing plan,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. “We look forwarding to working in the City Council to deliver more thoughtful affordable housing opportunities that bring key investments into our communities.”
“Affordable housing is vital for the welfare of our low-income residents. No one should feel forced to skip meals in order to pay rent, or to relocate to another city due to New York City’s high cost of living. This is a situation that needs an immediate solution and I’m glad to learn that Mayor de Blasio is delivering on his promise to increase affordable housing opportunities for New Yorkers, ahead of schedule,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Finance Committee.
“The importance of creating and securing more affordable housing in New York City cannot be overstated. Knowing that we are ahead of schedule in achieving the housing preservation and development goals set out by the Housing New York plan means we are making significant progress toward ensuring low-income New Yorkers are able to afford to stay in the city they call home. Boosting these goals and supplying additional programming and resources to attain them is indicative of the seriousness of the housing situation in New York and even more demonstrative of the City’s commitment to creating and preserving more of it,” Council Member Robert Cornegy said.
“Affordable housing is one of the most important things for New Yorkers. Everywhere I go and speak, people want to know about affordable housing. This is great news,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.
“Working with the administration, we were able to put a plan in place to secure over 3,000 units of affordable housing in East New York,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “This, in addition to the other investments in jobs, infrastructure and education, will be a vital protection for New Yorkers who deserve to have safe and affordable housing. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio on exceeding his housing goals and keeping focused on addressing the affordability crisis in our city.”
“The pace of progress signals this Administration’s serious commitment to combatting the affordability crisis in New York City. We must continue the work to deepen affordability for families across the City. Every New Yorker has a right to a stable home,” Council Member Ritchie Torres said.
“Affordable housing is a major issue in our city, and it is important for all of us to work together to address the needs of those most affected by this crisis. I want to commend our partners who have worked diligently to address this issue, including the Mayor, CAMBA, and numerous city agencies. There is more work to be done, but today’s announcement is a significant step in keeping the men and women of New York City in safe and affordable homes,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.
“This is historic and good news. The unprecedented success of the Mayor's affordable housing plan in combination with these new programs targeted for seniors, homeowners and existing affordable housing tenants in need of protection will make a real difference in addressing NYC's housing crisis,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Today, I’m proud to stand beside Mayor de Blasio and the administration, as we set more ambitious goals in our fight to ensure affordable housing and commit ourselves to help the New Yorkers who simply want to stay in the homes they’ve been in for years, without fear of harassment or displacement.”
“To create a city that works for all New Yorkers, all of us have to be committed to creating quality, affordable housing,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “That is certainly true of my district in the Bronx, and all efforts to expedite the creation of more housing is a worthy effort.”
“With the rampant speculation in my district, one of the biggest challenges we face is keeping tenants in their homes. The new Neighborhood Pillars policy acknowledges that non-profits have a long-term commitment to stabilizing our communities. I appreciate the administration’s attention to this issue and look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio to find opportunities for affordable housing preservation and development.” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
“In such a densely populated city, it can be difficult to meet the demand for affordable housing. The de Blasio administration has consistently embraced this challenge, developing and promptly fulfilling the goals outlined in the Housing New York plan. The Mayor’s commitment to providing adequate housing and additional protections for tenants will ensure that we maintain a high-quality of life for our most vulnerable New Yorkers.” said Council Member Annabel Palma.
“Today I want to welcome families into 293 brand new houses here in New York City. Housing and rent are serious issues in New York City, and when we do not take action, we see the consequences measured in higher prices, evictions, and instability for families. We have come far, but we will never stop working until every New Yorker has shelter. A special thank you to Mayor de Blasio for his role in ramping up the Housing NY plan, as well as to everyone working to bring affordable homes to New York,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“Today’s announcement that the City is on track to reach and surpass its goal to build 200,000 units of affordable housing is welcome news. I especially applaud the fact that we have been able to achieve this goal well ahead of schedule,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
“Building and preserving affordable housing units in New York City was the number one priority for this administration,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Now, almost four years later, the Mayor remains focused on this priority and has managed to get ahead of his Affordable Housing plan’s ambitious schedule. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio and all the agencies involved in reaching this milestone as we work together to keep New York City a place where New Yorkers of all incomes can afford to live."
“With a challenge as daunting as the lack of affordable housing in this city, our response must be as ambitious as possible,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “New Yorkers everywhere struggle with rising housing costs, displacement, and a constant worry about the future. There is no single policy solution that will save the day. We need a comprehensive, multi-pronged, and aggressive approach. This administration has already made significant progress expanding and preserving affordable housing. Under this new plan, I look forward to even greater progress on the biggest challenge facing our city.”
“It is excellent news that the City is ahead of its schedule in terms of affordable housing units that are in process and existing units that have been preserved. The profound need for affordable housing across our city is a crisis that will take many years to address. In my district and many other neighborhoods, tenants in affordable units continue to be harassed and displaced. I commend the de Blasio administration for attacking this issue from multiple angles and pushing forward,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“New York has over 8.5 million people who call this city home. Creating more affordable housing units will ensure it remains that way for generations,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “We’re living the consequences of lack of attention to affordable housing of years ago. I'm glad that as a city we're focused again on affordability for working and middle class New Yorkers.”
“The pace at which this Administration has preserved and created affordable housing units is a remarkable achievement that will benefit New Yorkers for years to come. As our city continues to change and grow, it is absolutely imperative that we provide safe and affordable housing for the families and communities who have always lived here. I commend Mayor de Blasio and HPD Commissioner Maria Springer Torres for their leadership and their commitment to protecting the affordability of our neighborhoods and our communities,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
“Over the last four years, this Administration has affirmed its commitment to promoting home and housing affordability to the residents of my district,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee. “I’ve partnered with it to prevent the foreclosure and private equity consumption of distressed homes through the Council’s Mortgage Buyback program, and to develop thousands of affordable housing units through the employment of M/WBE contractors. The innovative proposal unveiled today has great potential to build on these recent successes, and I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking this latest step to keep New Yorkers comfortably housed in their communities.”
“Affordable housing and housing preservation are two keys to fighting homelessness. Mayor de Blasio and the Housing Preservation Department’s work towards building new affordable housing and creating programs that preserve housing at affordable rates for those in need is laudable,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.
“I applaud the Mayor and his team for their creative, aggressive and indefatigable efforts to ensure quality affordable housing. These major affordable housing programs the Mayor has implemented over the course of his first term have made an extraordinary positive difference in the lives of many individuals and families in New York City. We still have much work ahead us. But we are on a right path for ensuring safe and accessible housing for all New Yorkers,” said Frederick A. Davie, of the Union Theological Seminary.
“We applaud the mayor for accelerating his ambitious housing plan and expanding it to ensure even more New Yorkers have the affordable housing that they need,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa. “The plan will help seniors and vulnerable people stay in their homes. And by providing more housing for working families at varying income levels, while ensuring the creation of quality, permanent jobs, we can make sure that our city remains the diverse and vibrant place that makes it so great.”
“The Mayor’s housing plan represents real progress toward making New York City more affordable. To lower record levels of homelessness, the City must build and complete an additional 10,000 units of affordable housing for currently homeless New Yorkers in the next five years. With that commitment, and doubling federal housing set-asides for homeless households, we can finally turn the tide on the homeless epidemic,” said Shelly Nortz, Executive Director for Policy, Coalition for the Homeless.
“Congratulations to the Mayor and every affordable housing provider in New York who are working tirelessly to ensure that our city stays a place where everyone can live with dignity. Still, there is more to do- which is why we look forward to supporting the Mayor's goal of protecting 300,000 units of affordable housing citywide by 2029,” said Paul R. Freitag, Executive Director, West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing.
"The City's commitment to expanding affordable housing for individuals and families at risk of homelessness is unparalleled and Breaking Ground is proud to be a part of it. We thank the de Blasio Administration for their commitment to helping the most vulnerable New Yorkers and for their additional support today for mission-driven non-profits to do even more to keep the city we love affordable for all,” said Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground.
“With New Yorkers in every neighborhood feeling the pressure of rising rents, building and preserving affordable homes citywide should be our number one priority,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “By empowering mission-driven nonprofits to acquire and stabilize traditional rent regulated buildings, the Neighborhood Pillars Initiative will preserve homes and help tenants stay in their neighborhoods. We applaud the city for recognizing the critical role nonprofits and community organizations can play in solving New York’s affordable housing challenges and we look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor’s Office and HPD to ensure every New Yorker has an affordable place to call home.”
“We are thrilled to see the Mayor expand the Housing New York plan, and to focus much needed resources on seniors, homeowners and efforts to combat aggressive speculators” said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “The Center strongly supports innovative models that ensure permanent affordability, such as community land trusts, that can protect homeowners and their renters from the volatility of the real estate market. We look forward to further supporting programs like the Homeowner HelpDesk that provide vulnerable homeowners with direct assistance, while also working with the City to catalyze new affordable homeownership opportunities.”
“Creating affordable housing for all income levels is key to maintaining New York City’s competitiveness,” said Bill Rudin, Chairman for the Association for a Better New York. “Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to this goal and his administration’s dedication has led to unprecedented levels of preservation and development,which is critical to keep pace with our increasing population.”
"Community Development Corporations have been providing housing to very low income New Yorkers for decades. We applaud the Mayor's recognition of the unique role that CDCs play in the City’s affordable housing landscape. The Joint Ownership Entity is premised on increasing member CDCs’ capacity to pursue new development opportunities and we look forward to working with HPD to develop of new financing tools to purchase rent regulated apartments," said Michael Rochford, Chair of the Joint Ownership Entity New York City (JOE NYC).
“We applaud the Mayor for progress toward its ambitious 10-year Housing New York Plan,” said Sam Marks, Executive Director of LISC NYC. “In particular we are excited about the announcement of the Community Pillars program, which aligns with our mission of bringing more affordable housing into nonprofit and community stewardship as a long term hedge against residential displacement.”
“People who work in New York must be able to afford to live in New York -- that means fair wages and access to affordable housing. We support the Mayor's efforts to make this a reality for all on both fronts. Affordable housing has been a priority for the De Blasio administration from day one and must continue to be. What he has achieved on affordable housing is important for all New Yorkers," said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.
“We applaud the Mayor’s commitment to meeting the growing homelessness crisis head-on, leaving no stone unturned in the effort to preserve and create truly affordable housing in New York City,” said Laura Mascuch, Executive Director, Supportive Housing Network of New York.
“We’re incredibly proud to partner with the city and very excited that our city, under Mayor de Blasio’s leadership, is set to exceed its affordable housing goals. CAMBA Gardens 2 is a perfect example of what can be created when innovation meets initiative. CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures looks forward to developing and preserving affordable housing in New York City to accomplish Mayor de Blasio's housing goal. Thanks to the Mayor’s good efforts, more people can be served by this and other innovative programs within the next few years,” said Joanne Oplustil, President and CEO of CAMBA.
“New York City has had a long tradition of innovation in housing policies designed to protect our older rental housing stock, increase housing options for those most in need, and improve neighborhoods, With the latest announcement, Mayor deBlasio has further demonstrated his long term commitment to housing and with a new emphasis on partnering with our City’s not-for-profit housing organizations will expand opportunities to protect neighborhoods and help preserve their scarce rental housing resources for future generations,” said Jerilyn Perine, Executive Director, Citizens Housing & Planning Council.
JoAnne Page, President and CEO of the Fortune Society, said, “As a provider of innovative affordable and supportive housing to people with criminal justice histories and to low income members of the community, we know that a safe and affordable place to live is essential to helping people rebuild their lives and to building and preserving healthy families and communities. We commend the Mayor for significantly expanding New York City’s commitment to creating and preserving affordable housing. Such housing is essential for the health and vibrancy and diversity and justice of our beautiful city.”
“Kudos to the Mayor and his team: no one has ramped up affordable housing production to this level ever before, in New York City, or anywhere in the country. Frankly, I thought they’d have a hard time meeting their original goal when it was first announced; to now go up to 25,000 units a year is truly impressive, especially with the new plan’s welcome focus on helping nonprofits house very low-income New Yorkers,” said Ted Houghton, President, Gateway Housing.
“As a provider of supportive housing for young adults, Good Shepherd Services believes that every New Yorker must have the opportunity to thrive in a safe and stable home in order for our city to unleash its full potential. The de Blasio administration has made incredible progress creating and preserving affordable housing, implementing innovative programming with achievable goals. We look forward to working together and applaud the administration for setting aggressive new goals for Housing NY,” said Sr. Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services.
“When Brooklyn's workforce can keep and make their homes here too, it helps to strengthen our economy even more," said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew Hoan. “We commend the Mayor and his administration for employing the services of our local MWBEs and non-profits, and for moving so quickly on such an important issue for Brooklyn and all of New York City."
“We applaud the establishment of the Neighbor Pillars initiative which provides mission driven community organizations with the opportunity to protect properties. Over our 4 decades of work as a non-profit affordable housing developer we have worked against the displacement of tenants as unscrupulous rent regulated building owners harass and force out tenants in heated real estate markets. We have long advocated for expanded ownership of properties using public resources by locally controlled mission based non-profits to better ensure permanent affordability and community oversight and support the Mayor’s initiative to increase that component,” said Frank Lang Director of Housing at St Nicks Alliance.