How Realistic are de Blasio's Affordable Housing Goals?

Mayor de Blasio's goal of building or preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years goes beyond what previous mayors have been able to achieve. How realistic are his chances of reaching this "lofty goal"?

After investing more than $5.3 billion in affordable housing, the Bloomberg administration saved or added 165,000 units over 12 years. Though Mayor de Blasio has made affordable housing production a centerpiece of his agendacuts in federal subsidy programs and other forces are likely to make the path to achieving his goal much more difficult. 

"Jeff Levine, a developer who took advantage of the [Bloomberg era] rezonings to build and include affordable units, said of the 200,000-unit goal, 'It’d take an incredibly intelligent effort on the part of the public and private sectors.'”

"But affordable housing advocates say Mr. de Blasio comes to office with one critical advantage — his stated commitment to more-equitable housing policies," notes Mireya Navarro. By making affordable housing production mandatory under inclusionary zoning regulations, rather than optional, some believe de Blasio could spur the production of 25,000 to 50,000 affordable units.

"Under Mayor Bloomberg the idea was that all development is good, said Moses Gates, director of housing assistance for the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an advocacy group. 'The shift we need to see to put a dent in our affordability crisis is, we want developers to build what the city needs, rather than just get stuff built.'”


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