Breaking Down de Blasio's Housing Plan

Monday, May 05, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina announce a preliminary 9-year contract on May 1, 2014. (Rob Bennett/Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)

Nancy Biberman, president and founder of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, discusses the de Blasio affordable housing plan, being rolled out today.


Nancy Biberman and Richard Steier

Comments [22]

J C from nyc

Blaz supported the Barkley's Center arena in Brooklyn, he obviously wasn't one of the displaced Park Slope residence who were affected by imminent domain laws.
But his focus on low and middle income housing is a refreshing breath of oxygen after the death spell Bloomberg wrought.

May. 05 2014 02:07 PM
WN from Already a 1-hr commute from manhattan

Micro houses are such a cool trend -- why not micro apartments? I'm in my 30s now and I'd give anything to ditch my roommate!! Sharing space is so stressful, I'd rather live in a place 1/3 this size and have it all to myself....

May. 05 2014 01:25 PM
Heike Schilling from Upper West Side, Manhattan

I found this discussion most valuable and the definition of how potential affordable housing in terms of high density high rises may change neighborhoods to, perhaps, the negative. I moved to the Upper West Side, a rent stabilized 5 floor walk-up apt. (less than 450 sq. feet) in a 9 unit old townhouse apt. building on West 80th Street, behind the Natural History Museum in 1986 with a rent of $895.00 at age 46. In 2005, for reasons of a small income, being a senior, I was admitted to the City's Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption program, freezing my rent at 1413.00, giving Tax Rebates for the rest of the stabilized rent to the landlady. The income threshold was perhaps $27,000. in 2009 raised to $29,000 and never again raised since then (while prices have gone up and up for everything). In 2012, for having to take out a minimum distribution out of my IRA (age 73 1/2), had an increase of income of $1000 over the threshold and was thrown out of the program. Overnight my rent was $1997.00, 80% of my income. Now almost 74 I had to start digging into life resources to pay the rent. I don't know how long I can do this, yet where can you find an apt for less without dislocating myself as to transportation, social connectedness, availability of food and other services, the neighborhood bar/restaurant... to the back of Queens.
The area has changed drastically since late 1986, the small needed locksmith, hardware shops, paint shops, neighborhood specialty shops, the support backbone of needed services, reduced to hard to find any, replaced by restaurants, side by side, of all kinds, food supplies ample, but not cheap. Blessed be the vegetable/fruit carts, etc.. Few high-rises, if you take away the luxury Trump buildings along Riverside Blvd., small 5 story townhouses at incredible prices, no mass of available housing anywhere... Enough, just to affirm the discussed issues.

May. 05 2014 11:42 AM

Mayor deBlasio press conference should have been aired in full on this and all local tv statioms. Not doing so is a public disgrace and black out. Seeing him and responses to reporters belongs to the desperate people in NYC who voted for him about this issue. Now all we will have is everybody's interpretation on the entertainment sections called "news". A society full of digital instancy, and we were not allowed to see and hear this important policy statement is and outrage. In my life, the housing issue is as important as an even smaller disaster or fire, etc. Shame on the media.

May. 05 2014 11:03 AM
RJ from prospect hts

3 words: enforcement, enforcement, enforcement. One of the problems with the so-called community benefits agreement that the city has with Forest City Ratner over Atlantic Yards is that there was no enforcement mechanism. So the some of the so-called public green space promised moved from the ground-level community base to the roofs of some of the buildings; the length of time till the "affordable" units come into being--when? the building time changed from 10 years to 25. How many similarly unfilled agreements for "job creation" in exchange for tax breaks have major corporations gotten--with little or no oversight, and few jobs created. What will be the enforcement model? If a developer starts to built too high, will they be stopped? Will someone monitor the number of affordable (for poor as well as low-income people) in ads and in actual rental? Will it be indexed to the city's poverty level? Are there penalty provisions for any of these aspects of the issue, if they're covered in the plan at all?

May. 05 2014 10:58 AM
sp from nyc

Why is De Blasio emulating Bloomberg in destroying neighborhoods by rezoning to accomodate developers? Now that the ghastly Bloomberg is gone, having destroyed innumerable neighborhoods by rezoning to enrich his real estate mogul buddies, we might have hoped for better. But no, now the purportedly progressive De Blasio is threatening even more high-rise, high-density, life-sucking development so that soon no one will have access to light or space except the uber rich living at the tops of these monstrosities, while the rest of us are condemned to live like trolls.

May. 05 2014 10:52 AM

Many of us bought into cooperatives in years past in the attempt to gain a level of security. Increasing real estate taxes, water and sewer costs, insurance, city mandates, etc., etc. have put us in danger of losing our apartments. I'd like to hear some coverage of this issue.

May. 05 2014 10:51 AM

Everything HAS to go UP unless the population of the country goes DOWN. We cannot add much land to NYC or any other such city. The real estate is in the sky not down on the land. And wealthy people are spending tens of millions of dollars to own apartments in skyscrapers now going up in Manhattan. Most people in the world today are used to living in apartments in increasingly tall buildings. It's only in a large country like the US where people still hold onto the "dream" of a 1/4 acre and a white picket fence.

May. 05 2014 10:51 AM
lk from brooklyn

Absolutely right that these high rise buildings push out the family and small businesses. And no comment on utilities and infrastructure. Developers should get no bonus or subsidies to build. They will make money without all that.

May. 05 2014 10:50 AM
Manhattanite from Manhattan

The only thing possible at this time is RENT STABILIZATION. Let's bring it back. I have been in my 1 br apartment going on 37 years. First it was a Mitchell-Lama then we got bought out by private developer and those of us not qualified for LAP (a bastardized rent stabilization) were shuffled into an HPD enhanced voucher program. Now HPD wants to move us mostly senior tenants (no we are not entitled to SCRIE!) to studio apartments, paying our own moving costs and paying the same rent as our larger apts. We have no recourse except our voice. Someone please help.

May. 05 2014 10:50 AM
leanne from manhattan

What about commercial rents? Everyone knows that the streetscape is turning into blocks of chain stores and BANKS!!

May. 05 2014 10:49 AM

Eventually everyone will be living in super-skyscraper cities as is beginning in Singapore,and fewer people will be down in the streets. Super-skyscrapers will have parks inside the building. Neighborhoods inside the building. Everything inside the superstructure.

May. 05 2014 10:47 AM
Ian from Brooklyn

I am actually on hold so I hope you can see this if I do not get thru. Why doesn't NYC build more affordable HOMES instead of housing? Housing means going UP where homes mean going OUT. In Brooklyn since the 1980's the Nemehiah Home project has been very successful in building homes where people take pride in not just their domain, but their block and street. There is a current lottery in Brooklyn for Nemehiah Spring Creek phase 3. These are HOMES, HOUSES, 1-2 and 3 family. There is no such project in the other 4 boroughs. Please expand.

May. 05 2014 10:46 AM

Can anything be done to help people being priced out of their rent stabilized apartments because their rents have more than doubled over the years while their incomes haven't? Maybe a rent freeze, at least for seniors? The city is rapidly greying and many elderly are heading to shelters or the street. Read the Times article:

May. 05 2014 10:46 AM

To PaulB

I lived in this city since 1949 and there were times when everyone wanted to come, and times when everyone wanted to leave. I think Giuliani and Bloomberg turned the city into one where everyone wanted to come to, and De Blasio will reverse that soon enough, and when people begin to leave again we'll be back in the mid 1970s once again - I.e at the cusp of bankruptcy.

May. 05 2014 10:44 AM

Where do people think the money for subsidized housing politicians like to pat themselves on the back come from? As someone who just gave up and left when I realized it just wasn't worth it, it is the rest of us paying market rate (and also from our taxes when they abate these developements)! When my rent was 3x someone else in the building, and that building still needed to pay the super, taxes, water, maintenance, elevator repairs, roofs, etc, it comes directly out of our inflated rents. Bill still need to be paid and with one hand these guys raise taxes on property and on the other hand give a hand out to 0.5% by indirectly picking our pockets.

May. 05 2014 10:44 AM

It just sounds like more reasons for my landlord to continue pushing, bulling me out of my apartment, so he can build a tall building in place of my 4 floor tenement.

I didn't expect deBlazio to be on the side of people fighting to keep the apartments they currently have, but it's starting to look like he's on the side of those out to get me.. out.


May. 05 2014 10:41 AM
paulb from Brooklyn

No amount of construction is going to end the "housing emergency" because there is practically an infinite demand for living space in NYC. All that can be done is define, and this is essentially a political decision, how great the emergency should be.

May. 05 2014 10:38 AM
Robert from NYC

Excellent point Brian. Let's keep an eye on this and jump on his back if you're correct.

May. 05 2014 10:35 AM

Jeez I went from the tenements of Brownsville into the brand new housing projects they built back in the '50s. Boy did my life ever improve :)
Remember the road to doom is PAVED with good intentions, and De Blasio is paving the way to New York's next major fall, just as it fell in the '70s.

May. 05 2014 10:34 AM
Robert from NYC

As I listen to the mayor I say, "One can only hope." But will it happen? AND... How do you like that Mike Bloomberg!

May. 05 2014 10:34 AM
paulb from Brooklyn

I don't think it's quite right to put preservation in the same bag as new apartments.

May. 05 2014 10:32 AM

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