Massive Affordable Housing Effort in New York Faces Coronavirus Reckoning

A controversial but sweeping housing initiative in New York City, one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's signature initiatives, had a full head of steam before the coronavirus. Now it's facing drastic cuts.

1 minute read

April 29, 2020, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

In the wake of the fiscal impacts of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio has "proposed momentous cuts to his signature 10-year plan to build and preserve 300,000 homes at less than market rate by 2026," reports Janaki Chadha.  According to figures shared with Chadha, the mayor is proposing to cut "$583 million from the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and another $456 million next year…"

An expert cited in the article says affordable housing financing will be very difficult during the downturn, and the need for affordable housing supply is only likely to increase.

"The 12-year housing plan, which has benefited from a booming city economy, was going so well de Blasio decided in 2017 to roughly double its capital budget to $16.9 billion and expand the goal from its original 200,000 homes to 300,000," according to Chadha. The city's financial commitment to affordable housing could be headed toward another reckoning in June, according to the article, when the city would typically close on a large share of financing deals involving tax-exempt bonds.

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