Key Benefits of the de Blasio Housing Plan

Mayor Bloomberg was elected in 2001, less than 100 days after 9/11 and in a time of incredible turbulence, both socially and economically.

His unflappable, steady, and business-like approach reassured us and led to a steady build up of the economy. He led us to create an environment that attracted businesses that would bring energy, creativity, money, and employment back into the city.

His focus from 2001-2012 was primarily economic growth - and it worked.

Unfortunately, if you attract an international armada of the economic elite, real estate prices all over the city will rise quickly and out price long-time residents and their families.

That would be fine if incomes rose just as fast, but we all know they didn’t.

In neighborhoods like Harlem, property values have jumped over 200%, median market rents rose to $1200 in 2002 to $1900 in 2011. Across the East River, Bedford-Stuyvesant was looking at a rate hike from $925 to roughly $1400 between 2002 and 2011.

To counter that, the Mayor’s housing plan created and saved 124,000 units of affordable housing; but at the same time, thousands of previously affordable units went off-line as landlords cashed in on the new rise in real estate pricing, making any helpful measures null.

In a report released in 2012, Community Service Society (CSS) reported that among the poor, rent burden rose to 65% and the segment of the population that paid over 50% for rent rose to 80% between 2005-2011.

Preceding the CSS report, the Furman Center reported that nearly 1/3 of New Yorkers were "severely rent burdened" in 2011, spending more than half their monthly income on rent.

These statistics involve not only the poor, but also those targeted in the “moderate income” bracket. These moderate income New Yorkers faced a shortage of affordable housing under Bloomberg as well, with ⅔ of the 124,000 developed “affordable housing” units requiring the occupants to earn more than the area median income (AMI). - ANHD

The Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index (COLI), tracks the cost of living in almost 300 urban areas, including Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Based on 60 different items, the survey collects more than 90,000 prices for housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services.

In the first three quarters of 2016, Manhattan and Brooklyn ranked as numbers one and four/five, respectively, on the list of most expensive urban areas. The study calculated that Manhattan was approximately 2.3 times as expensive to live in as the national average, while Brooklyn was approximately 1.7 times more expensive.

In 2013, Mayor de Blasio captured City Hall with a promise to focus on income inequality. Having made almost no headway in that arena, this year his platform became the city’s affordability crisis.

During his State of the City Speech in February he said, “people are so fundamentally challenged by the affordability crisis that this city simply must do more and must do it quickly.”

Released in 2014, de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan outlines the mayor's agenda of creating or preserving over 200,000 units.

There are a variety of ways de Blasio’s plan differs from his predecessors, this week we outlined Bloomberg's plan and touched briefly on the current one.

Next week we’ll go deeper into the 10 Year Plan and it’s major differences from Bloomberg’s approach; the community engagement, committee develop, resident employment and the portion of the revenue’s dedicated to upgrades.

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