Ten months before the next mayoral election, Mayor Bill de Blasio is touting his achievements in affordable housing, saying that his administration is on pace to reach its goal of building and preserving 200,000 units.
The apex of the administration’s affordable housing thrust was 2016, when the city financed 21,963 affordable homes, the highest in 27 years.
That figure includes 6,844 newly constructed apartments and 15,119 preserved homes that were financed by a $990 million investment from the city.
The city’s output, which is enough to provide housing to 162,000 New York City residents, is also the highest since Mayor Edward Koch created 23,136 homes in 1989. Since taking office in 2014, de Blasio has overseen the creation and preservation of 62,506 affordable homes.
The growth of the city’s affordable housing stock is said to be benefitting its most cash-strapped residents, particularly seniors and three-person households making $24,500 a year or less.
The city has so far financed more than 4,000 units of senior housing, and is expecting to boost its supply with the passage of the ZQA zoning resolution.
Meanwhile, 19 percent of homes that the city financed in 2016 were for low-income households, which include individuals making less $19,050.
About 4,200 units for extremely-low income families were financed last year. The figure is almost half the 8,877 homes that have been financed since de Blasio took office.
“If you are worried about paying your rent, we are fighting for you every day. No matter how much it changes, this is still your city. It must be a place for everyone, or it won’t work for anyone. That’s why we are building and protecting the most affordable housing in a generation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
According to city officials, the de Blasio administration’s Housing New York Plan, which aims to preserve and create 200,000 affordable housing units over a ten-year period, is already starting to provide returns.
Since 2014, about 10,000 newly constructed affordable units have become available, with another 3,500 homes expected to host move-ins this year.
The de Blasio administration leveraged over $1.4 billion in bonds from the Housing Development Corporation to fund its 2016 output. It also earmarked $7.5 billion for affordable housing projects.
“This is about saving a mixed-income New York, and so we’ve held nothing back. We doubled the housing capital budget. We rewrote every term sheet to get more for the public in every housing project. We passed the biggest overhaul of City zoning in fifty years. And it is making a difference. Not since Ed Koch has this city built and protected as much affordable housing as we did in 2016. As we protect more buildings and our newly built apartments rent up, New Yorkers are going to see and feel a difference in their neighborhoods,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.
The numbers may help de Blasio stave off an electoral challenge from a right-wing real estate insider.
The pool of contenders for de Blasio’s seat is starting to take shape, and one of the most serious challengers is Paul Massey, the president of Cushman & Wakefield’s New York Investment Sales division.
Massey, a political novice, has emerged as a threat, raising $1.6 million in campaign contributions over the past six months.
Other early contenders in the mayoral race include former NYPD detective Bo Dietl and State Senator Tony Avella. There are also rumors that former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may run for the mayoral seat.