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REBNY joins call for u-turn on affordable housing cuts

The Real Estate Board of New York has joined a coalition of developers and advocates to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to reverse a plan to cut funding for affordable housing.

de Blasio’s executive budget calls to slash the capital budget of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) by 40 percent, for a total of $581 million in 2020 and $457 million in 2021.

 “With a tragedy of massive unemployment and housing insecurity facing our city, we call on you to fully restore the capital spending plan for housing,” said the group in a letter to the mayor.

“The housing budget must be protected as affordable housing investment is the counter-cyclical tool that can jumpstart jobs, spending and the local economy.

In the letter, the group – which is led by Council Member Brad Lander, the New York Housing Conference, and other leading housing organizations – says that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic “boldly underscore the need for affordable housing,” which is the “launching pad for success and is needed now more than ever.”

The group urges Mayor de Blasio to “fully restore the capital spending plan for housing” as New York City continues to move toward reopening from the pandemic, arguing that affordable housing will serve as a driver of economic recovery and improve public health.

Without it, the group warns, New York City will face a significant decline in affordable housing production over the next two years. An analysis by the New York Housing Conference found that a total of 21,000 units would be lost over the next two years:

The group has 161 organizational co-signers  and 14 elected officials that represent a wide range of affordable housing developers, stakeholders, and activists. Signatories include the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Breaking Ground, the Coalition for the Homeless, Enterprise Community Partners, Habitat for Humanity New York City, Housing Justice for All, LiveOn NY, the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), Phipps Houses, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), and the Supportive Housing Network of New York.

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