Program to Encourage Affordable Housing in NYC Only Producing Poor Results

A new report by the office of City Councilman Brad Lander finds that New York's voluntary inclusionary housing program is failing to entice developers in large numbers, producing only 2,700 permanently affordable units over the past 8 years.
August 17, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"For years, New York City has tried to create more affordable housing by encouraging developers to include apartments for low- and middle-income households in return for being allowed to construct bigger buildings," writes Mireya Navarro. "But a new report by the office of City Councilman Brad Lander, a Brooklyn Democrat and housing expert, says that that strategy is producing too few affordable units and that the city should require developers to build more of them. "

"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the real estate industry have favored the exchange of more density for affordable set-asides on a voluntary basis," she adds. "But affordable housing advocates and some mayoral candidates argue that the time has come for mandatory programs to make a dent in the housing shortage for low-income New Yorkers."

“'It’s a moment of crisis,' said Mr. Lander, an advocate for low-income housing and a former director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, a policy and planning group. 'People are desperate for affordability, and there’s a mismatch between the anxiety people have and the policy tools that are available.'”

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Published on Thursday, August 15, 2013 in The New York Times
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