NEW YORK CITY—Flushed with the news that the city is ahead of its ambitious affordable housing targets, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says his administration will now raise its target in the years ahead that if achieved would house the entire populous of either Boston or Seattle.
The mayor says the city is on track to build and protect 200,000 affordable housing units by 2022, two years ahead of the original schedule. With the addition of new tools, programs and funding, the city has set a new goal of securing 25,000 affordable apartments annually by 2021 and beyond—a pace it has never reached previously. In addition, the city is now hoping to build and protect 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026.
The mayor’s Housing New York Plan released in 2014 called for the creation or preservation of 200,000 units of affordable housing by 2024, with 40% of that total being new construction. Earlier this year, the New York Building Congress released a report that the city was on target with its affordable housing creation goals.
“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 says.
Since 2014, the city has secured 20,000 affordable units per year. The new annual target of 25,000 per year represents a 66% increase from pre-2014 levels. To date, the city has secured 77,651 affordable homes—enough to house more than 200,000 New Yorkers.
In order to facilitate the affordable housing pipeline in the city, the mayor says he will be announcing a number of new programs, which will target seniors, homeowners and tenants in existing affordable housing who need protection. The city’s affordable housing plan will require an additional $150 million per year in the current four-year financial plan, bringing the city’s overall investment in achieving 100,000 more homes to about $1.3 billion per year over nine years.
The first program in connection with the accelerated housing plan is called “Neighborhood Pillars.” The mayor announced the launch of the $275-million public-private fund to target what the city describes as “fast-changing neighborhoods where aggressive speculators threaten traditional rent regulated apartment buildings.”
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 over the next eight years.