Mayor’s Housing Plan Unveiled

Mayor de Blasio’s office has put out a press release on his long awaited housing affordability plan, which you can read below. The plan itself can be found by clicking the link at the bottom.

MAYOR DE BLASIO UNVEILS ‘HOUSING NEW YORK’: A FIVE-BOROUGH, 10-YEAR HOUSING PLAN TO PROTECT AND EXPAND AFFORDABILITY

$41 billion total investment to yield 200,000 new and preserved affordable apartments over the coming decade—the largest and most ambitious affordability plan of its kind in nation’s history

City to double HPD’s capital budget, target vacant and underused land, protect tenants in rent-regulated apartments

Streamline rules and processes to unlock new development opportunities, contain costs and accelerate affordable construction

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today laid out a 10-year plan to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments across all five boroughs—enough housing to serve more than a half-million New Yorkers. The $41 billion Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan is the most expansive and ambitious affordable housing agenda of its kind in the nation’s history, and Mayor de Blasio pledged it would reach New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes at the bottom of the economic ladder, all the way to those in the middle class facing ever-rising rents in their neighborhoods.

“We have a crisis of affordability on our hands. It touches everyone from the bottom of the economic ladder, all the way up to the middle class. And so we are marshaling every corner of government and the private sector in an unprecedented response,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This plan thinks big – because it has to. The changes we are setting in motion today will reach a half-million New Yorkers, in every community, and from every walk of life. They will make our families and our city stronger.”

Housing New York outlines the broad principles and the specific policies City agencies will implement to reach Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goal. The plan emphasizes:

  • Unprecedented Scale: The plan calls for 200,000 affordable units over 10 years—120,000 preserved and 80,000 newly built.
  • Affordability for a Wide Range of Incomes: Affordability programs will serve households ranging from middle- to extremely low-income (under $25,150 for a family of four).
  • Proactive and Strategic Preservation of Existing Affordability: Agencies will use every tool at their disposal to protect tenants in both subsidized affordable housing and rent-regulated housing from the tide of deregulation, and to combat neglect and disrepair that threatens many affordable buildings.
  • New Opportunities for Growth and Density: The City will undertake ground-up neighborhood planning to identify corridors and communities with opportunities for more housing (both affordable and market), and coordinate greater density with necessary infrastructure.
  • Quality Jobs: Approximately 194,000 construction jobs and nearly 7,100 permanent jobs will be generated by the housing plan, and the City will work with stakeholders to make sure they are quality jobs and integrated into the City’s workforce development ecosystem.
  • Fewer Unnecessary Barriers and Delays: The City will streamline the development process and help to contain construction costs by overhauling outdated regulations and removing duplicative agency processes.

The 115-page plan, which was created through coordination with 13 agencies and with input from more than 200 individual stakeholders, outlines more than 50 initiatives that will accelerate affordable construction, protect tenants, and deliver more value from affordable housing investments, including:

Implementing Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning:
In all rezonings that substantially increase potential housing capacity, the City will require a portion of the new housing developed to be permanently affordable to low- or moderate-income households in order to ensure diverse and inclusive communities. The Department of City Planning, working with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, will initiate and expedite the completion of a study to provide the foundation for incorporating a mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program into the Zoning Resolution.

Increasing the Number of Homes for the Lowest Income New Yorkers:
The City will allocate additional resources to its housing programs to ensure that a higher percentage of units in affordable housing reach the neediest people. As a result of this commitment, the City will provide housing opportunity to 16,000 of very low-income households over the 10 years of this plan—more than four times the number served over the previous 12 years.

Launching a New Affordable Housing Program for Middle-Income New Yorkers:
As part of creating and preserving more than 20,000 homes for middle-income New Yorkers, the City will launch a new mixed-income program that is 100 percent affordable. Half of all units in these projects will be set aside for middle-income households. The remaining 20 and 30 percent, respectively, will be reserved for low- and moderate-income households. Middle-income housing is essential to support our economy and workforce, which increasingly cannot afford to live in our city.

Doubling HPD’s Capital Funding for Affordable Housing:
The Mayor’s 2015 budget will propose to more than double the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s annual capital budget in the 5-year plan, increasing investment to more than $2.5 billion. The City will expand its financial commitment to affordable housing using its capital dollars and tax expenditures to leverage other investment, and work with state and federal governments to expand their commitments.

Spurring Development of Small, Vacant Sites:
The City will launch two new programs to redevelop hundreds of vacant sites and build thousands of new units: the Neighborhood Construction Program and the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program. These programs will aggregate sites to develop affordable housing, including one- to four-family homeownership opportunities and up to 20-unit rental buildings. The programs will build capacity among smaller developers, local non-profits, and community development corporations to drive the projects.

Stemming the Tide of Rent Deregulation and Protecting Tenants:
The City will work with the state as rent regulation comes up for renewal in 2015 to prevent abuses of the vacancy and luxury decontrol provisions and capital improvement rules. The City will coordinate across all agencies and use every tool at its disposal—from legal action to closer scrutiny of City contracting with bad actors—to protect tenants in rent-regulated housing from landlord harassment and neglect.

Expanding Affordable and Supportive Housing for Seniors:
The City will leverage Project-Based Section 8 vouchers to make housing affordable to those seniors whose income remains stagnant or declines over time, and will continue to push for expanding income eligibility in the SCRIE program. The City will also actively seek out ways to integrate new senior housing in its development programs in collaboration with NYCHA, leveraging their resources and prioritizing their residents.

Offering Energy-Efficiency Retrofits in Exchange for Long-Term Affordability:
To help mitigate rising utility costs and preserve affordability, the City will launch a new program to targeting mid-size and small buildings—in concert with local utilities and existing subsidy programs—to encourage energy and water-use retrofits in exchange for affordability commitments from building owners. The program can help property owners reduce these operating costs by up to 30 percent.

Creating New Strategies to Prevent and Reduce Homelessness, and Develop Additional Supportive Housing:
The City will reallocate a portion of its homeless shelter funding to finance lower-cost permanent housing for homeless individuals and families. Investment in housing that is accompanied by supportive services yields significant taxpayer savings by reducing demand for high-cost shelters, hospitals, and other emergency resources. The City will seek to renew its partnership with the state to expand the development of supportive housing and to broaden the populations it serves. NYCHA will also reinstate its policy of setting aside units for families exiting the shelter system.

Read the full plan at nyc.gov/housing.

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