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Vicki Been’s First Speech

New York Multifamily

This morning at the BuildingsNY conference, we snapped Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York exec director Dan Marguiles and NYC HPD commissioner Vicki Been in her first public address under Mayor de Blasio’s administration. The City has committed to building or preserving 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years, but she says the housing plan must go beyond that. She also wants to make sure all housing is financially stable and offers good returns for owners (“We won’t tolerate any decay or deterioration,” she says), zero in on neighborhoods that are still trying to recover from the recession, and improve code enforcement and tenant’s rights for decent housing.


Hizzoner will release his Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan on May 1, but Vicki says she’s still welcoming feedback from the real estate community: “It’s going to be a product of many minds.” Affordable housing is critical because rents here have gone up 10% while wages have remained stagnant, 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 the supply-demand equation. She says low interest rates mean a can’t-miss opportunity to build.