De Blasio at Six Months: Housing and Development

Thursday, July 17, 2014

All this week on the Brian Lehrer Show we're checking in on the de Blasio administration's progress on a variety of key issues, six months into his first term. We'll talk to advocacy groups about how the mayor has lived up to his campaign promises on the environment, crime, housing, and more. Friday, we'll hear from Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.

Barika Williams, Policy Director at Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), assesses the Mayor's housing plan -- including increased density -- and how it compares to his progressive vision for the city. Plus, she'll review new policies on homelessness and neighborhood outreach.


Barika Williams

Comments [20]

Make no mistake, De Blasio and his cohorts have received financial support from developers who are using the 'affordable housing' cause as a justification for tacking on extra stories to high rises and coercing communities to accept zoning changes and higher buildings. In Gowanus, De Blasio cohort Brad Lander's Bridging Gowanus forum pretends to bring together diverse community groups to form a consensus for development and increased density in exchange for amenities when in fact the businesses and residents of Gowanus would like to continue the organically rich and diverse manufacturing and creative development that is happening naturally.

The caller from Gowanus, Mark, nails it. Our homes are flooding with sewage during rain storms. Density before infrastructure is insanity.

I also question the term consensus. True consensus means agreement. There is MUCH disagreement over how to move forward.

Jul. 18 2014 12:24 AM
JR from NYC

I don't know - barely 6 months on the job and he's going on vacation to Italy?! c'mon!

Jul. 17 2014 12:01 PM

Brian's comments are sometimes such a disappointment. On the LIRR, we have a situation where they are a monopoly. Period. We can give them everything they want and will also have even more unaffordable fares, tolls, taxes and fees. A typical business will fold if the costs become to great, but not government entities which extract money from you either through monopoly power or by taxing you even when you don't use the system. For someone who must be somewhat educated, I find his comments ridiculous These are already highly paid jobs, most in excess of 100k per year plus benefits. Let's not forget the 98% disability rate scam, too. And, lets also not forget the abuse of overtime on the final year to boost they lifetime payouts. We are expected to stand up for this as we pay for it? Please.

Jul. 17 2014 11:02 AM
BedStuy Resident from BedStuy

If I heard the caller from the Bed-Stuy border near Clinton Hill correctly, I am floored by her comment that she is concerned about possible low-income housing going into the neighborhood. You can barely find a brownstone in Bed-Stuy these days for less than $1 million, and forget about Bed-Stuy "near" Clinton Hill. People who have lived in this neighborhood for years are being pushed out in droves b/c they can no longer afford the rents. This person, who bought "near" Clinton Hill, where 2 million for a fixer-upper is the norm now, is concerned about low income people living near her? That really turns my stomach.

Jul. 17 2014 10:58 AM
lk from Brooklyn

Building in flood zones and places like the Gowanus (which area flooded last week with the heavy rain and has no infrastructure to support 750 new units) and in Brooklyn Bridge Park is some kind of insanity. Affordable housing can not be a cover for building high-rises in environmentally sensitive areas. There is no listening to the communities now any more than there was under Bloomberg. De Blasio is pushing through housing for developers not communities.

Jul. 17 2014 10:52 AM
sp from nyc

The NYT reported recently that each "inclusive" unit in a high-end building costs the city $90,000 a YEAR!!! How is this possible? If true, how can it be justified, when clearly many more households could be housed for the same money. See article here:

Jul. 17 2014 10:51 AM
Ann from Prospect Heights

Something I've heard no reporter discuss:

Once one qualifies for income-based/low-income housing, what are the $$$ requirements for KEEPING a unit?

By example, if someone receives a salary jump or an inheritance etc (i.e. sees significant financial improvement/increases one's income beyond what was previously required to qualify for special housing) will this individual be asked to move? And therefore, what is the incentive for someone who qualifies for low income housing to improve their financial situation if doing so would mean the boot from a primo apartment? many tax years are taken into consideration when calculating qualification? (Freelancers such as myself often see huge high/low $$ spikes from year to year. So one year I might be designated a top earner, whereas another year a low-income earner.)

Jul. 17 2014 10:51 AM
Larry from Williamsburg

In Williamsburg, huge new rental buildings (with rents near 7k/month for 2 BR!) have gone up near the Lorimer stop of the L train. The real estate folks advertise that residents can get a seat on the L in the morning commute but that must be 3 AM in the morning since often I have to wait for a train or 2 to pass. I would not mind the increased density if there was better infrastructure. Why aren't there more office buildings/places to work in wburg? Why has it become a bedroom community to Manhattan?

Jul. 17 2014 10:49 AM

1000 or less per bedroom? Taxes and maintenance already cost far more than that per month. That also does not include basic utilities, construction costs and mortgages on the rental. Not gonna happen in this city.

Jul. 17 2014 10:49 AM

Is this guest a child? What is she talking about?

Jul. 17 2014 10:45 AM
Mason from Jackson Heights

The Mayor wants to make some neighborhood population denser with new affordable housing. Fine. What I have not heard in the conversation is the building of infastructure to support the new housing. No mention of parks or recreational areas being set aside, no mention of improvement such as the installation of fiber optic cable for internet connectivity, no mention of the need for increased construction of schools, no mention of an improved transportation system to diminish the use of private vehicles. I think much of what the Mayor is talking about is poorly planned with no long term vision that will support community building.

Jul. 17 2014 10:44 AM
Sarah from Crown Heights

I love Jane Jacobs, if we keep developing like we are now (ugly glass boxes for rich people) the city will lose the character that draws people here and makes them want to stay. New development need to take in to account the fabric of the neighborhood.
That being said – “affordable housing” hurts the middle class. If developers rent a percent of their new units at a lower price, they raise the “market rate” units to ridiculous prices to make up the difference. We need middle income housing - $1000 or less per bedroom in safe, transit friendly neighborhoods.

Jul. 17 2014 10:42 AM

Why are there no affordable houses across the city like tge Nehemiah Project in Brooklyn?

Jul. 17 2014 10:42 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.

Jul. 17 2014 10:41 AM
lk from Brooklyn

How is it that DeBlasio got to include the housing that was already in the pipeline in the Atlantic Yards development to include in his affordable housing stable? How is it that he got to give an additional almost $12 million per building to the Atlantic Yards project on top of the 100s of millions of dollars of direct subsidies to this project? How is it that he calls the 65% of units going to people with over $100,000 income as units towards affordable housing and subsidize them? This is market rate housing that is being heavily subsidized for a favored developer who contributed heavily to the de Blasio campaign.

Jul. 17 2014 10:41 AM
Senior from Nueva York

Bring back the Mitchel-Lama program, the best thing that ever happened to housing in NYC. People before profits!

Jul. 17 2014 10:40 AM
David from nyc

This city will look more and more like a 3rd world country.
With people on top of people, with a infrastructure that can't handle any of this.

Jul. 17 2014 10:40 AM

His economics make no sense. What does affordable mean? There is an endless supply of people who want to live in NYC. All this is is a lottery for very few at the expense of the rest who foot the bill either through increased taxes, maintenance charges, rents, etc. Want to get housing costs down? take an area like the west side yards and build enormous free market buildings and bring 1000s of units on quickly with no tax subsidies. There is no character of that neighborhood to complain about and transportation will be there.

Jul. 17 2014 10:39 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Nothing wrong with density as long as it comes with amenities. Before they build the housing projects ,kids played ball in the streets, and had to avoid the traffic. But they did play a lot right on the streets and gutters. When they built the housing projects, the grass and seats were nice, but the kids no longer had any place to play. Had they built ball courts INSIDE the building open for kids to run around and play in, they might have had something positive to do to let their energies out rather than just sitting around smoking dope and eventually looking for trouble,and finding it.
The problem is not density. The problem is understanding the needs of kids and other people and providing play areas, police, and amenities that make such dense housing desirable. There must be a reason why wealthy people are paying millions for apartments in skyscrapers. Those luxury hi rise apartments come with lots of amenities and lots of security.

Jul. 17 2014 10:37 AM
Kelly from Tuxedo, NY

I loved the voice clip of de Belasio at the beginning of this segment!
What is the song that was playing behind it?

Jul. 17 2014 10:36 AM

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