NYC: Giant Push for Affordable Housing
This week, we snapped new NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development commissioner Vicki Been in her first public address since joining Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration three weeks ago (she's with Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York exec director Dan Marguiles above). The City has committed to building or preserving 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years, but she says the plan must go beyond that: making sure all housing is financially stable and offers good returns, zeroing in on still-recovering neighborhoods, and improving code enforcement and tenants' rights.
Mayor de Blasio will release his Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan on May 1. (Beach reading!) Affordable housing is critical because rents have jumped 10% while wages remain stagnant, Vicki reports, and "people have to choose between food and paying rent.” The city would have a tough time attracting talent, but if homelessness increases, the appeal to tourists and businesses would diminish, too. Other City goals include multifamily growth through rezoning and higher density and more market-rate housing to ease pressure on supply and demand. She says low interest rates mean a can't-miss opportunity to build.