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Even New York's 'Affordable' Housing is Too Expensive

A new report calls into question who's benefiting from the Bloomberg administration’s plan to build or preserve 165,000 affordable housing units in the city. Are federal guidelines to blame for 'affordable' units being too costly?

In a city known for its exorbitant rents and increasing income inequality, one of the largest affordable housing initiatives in the country should be doing more to serve the city's poorest residents, argue housing advocates. So why isn't it?   

Winnie Hu discusses the findings of a report released last week by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, "that found about two-thirds of the city’s recently developed affordable housing required occupants to have minimum income levels that were higher than the median household income in the areas where the housing was built."

"The notion of affordable housing that is too expensive may seem counterintuitive, but city housing officials say their efforts have focused, in particular, on an underserved population of New Yorkers who struggle to make ends meet but earn too much to qualify for public housing and other government assistance," writes Hu. "That has helped a broad section of the city’s workers survive in a rental market that is among the most expensive in the nation."

"But many housing advocates and community leaders say that the city’s efforts have failed to help many of the poorest residents, who face long waiting lists for public housing and a shrinking pool of other options. They also say that the plan has failed to stabilize neighborhoods like Highbridge, where residents are being priced out by rising rents."

Full Story: Some ‘Affordable’ Units Too Costly, Report Says

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