NYC Housing Plan Leaves Poor Families Out in the Cold

A new initiative launched by Mayor Bloomberg to tackle New York City's need for affordable housing through the construction of microunits is attracting hostility from advocates and local leaders for neglecting the needs of large, poor families.
October 22, 2012, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Although Mayor Bloomberg's plan to allow and enrouage the construcion of microunits throughout the city, dubbed adAPT NYC, has been a big hit with the developer community, "some housing advocates, community leaders and elected officials say this latest proposal only highlights that one demographic group has been left out: large, poor families," reports Winnie Hu. 

Others, however, argue that the city's approach to providing affordable housing is appropriate considering the city's average household size is 2.5 and only 11 percent of households have 5 or more people. "It's not the city's job to give open-ended subsidies and reward people for having more members in the family," said Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. "It is responsible behavior not to have children until you can reasonably support them."

Says Hu: "[t]he struggles of these families come as those who have long applauded the efforts of the mayor, who has been credited with overseeing the city's largest expansion of affordable housing since the 1980s, look more closely at the results."

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Published on Friday, October 19, 2012 in The New York Times
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