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Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

  • Where the Mayor Opposes Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Character

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    Union Square tech hub image rendering via EDC


    Mayor de Blasio claims that creating and preserving affordable housing in our city is a top priority for his administration. But in Greenwich Village and the East Village, he has consistently blocked rezoning plans that would help create and preserve affordable housing where little exists, and opposed eliminating loopholes that aid developers, including his campaign fundraisers, in getting around existing affordable housing provisions.

    For over three years, we have

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  • Dissecting Mayor De Blasio's Record As He Seeks Reelection

    Mayor de Blasio Chirlane McCray City Hall Reelection Parade

    Mayor Bill de Blasio & First Lady Chirlane McCray (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio, a first-term Democrat, seeks reelection this fall, a close examination of his record is essential. De Blasio came into power promising to address inequlality in a variety of forms, including income, educational, policing, racial, and opportunity inequities he identified during his 2013 campaign. In this year's election de Blasio is running in part on his record, which is headlined by the

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  • Following Up with Comptroller Stringer on Several Debate Moments

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    Faulkner, left, and Stringer, at the Comptroller debate (photo via @NYCVotes)


    It appears that a relatively small number of people watched the lone debate in the election for New York City Comptroller, which occurred on Tuesday, October 17 between incumbent Democrat Scott Stringer and his Republican challenger, Michel Faulkner. It is one of three citywide races, along with those for Mayor and

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  • In New Books on Bloomberg and de Blasio, Unreliable Atlantic Yards History

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    (photo: Spencer T Tucker via the Mayor's Office)


    "Atlantic Yards down the memory hole" is a phrase I coined to describe how the facts and history of the controversial real estate project -- which was renamed Pacific Park Brooklyn in 2014 -- regularly get mangled by journalists, public officials, and commentators, often buffing away the controversy so that people may eventually wonder why anyone ever cared.

    Part of that surely relates to the project's complex, twisting path, with at least 11 more towers yet unbuilt, joining the Barclays

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  • Don’t Forget: Cumbo Won with Promise of 100% Affordability at Armory

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    Bedford Union Armory rendering


    For months, thousands of Crown Heights residents have petitioned, testified, marched, and protested against a proposed redevelopment at the Bedford Union Armory, where the plan backed by the de Blasio administration would take a massive parcel of public land and give it to a private developer to build high-end housing and a recreation facility.

    The local City Council member, Laurie Cumbo, recently won her Democratic primary for reelection after opposing the deal, promising that she would insist on no luxury condominiums, while her backers

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  • Key to Affordable Housing Development, Vacant Lots Remain Source of Controversy

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    On 43rd Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, sit five adjacent, vacant lots. Cordoned off by a chained-link, gray metal fence, the lots—owned by the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD)—are covered in weeds and garbage. They are “eyesores for the community,” said Alexis Smallwood, a local community organizer, in an interview with Gotham Gazette. “Vacant lots should be used for community spaces or real affordable housing.”

    These five lots are examples of the hundreds the Department of Housing and Preservation (HPD) could utilize for affordable housing. Since issuing an audit and fuller report in early

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  • City Hall Pushes Back on Proposal that Hits Core Tension of Housing Plan

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    City Hall ralliers with Metro-IAF-NY (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    Thousands of New Yorkers, many of them residents of public housing, braved the rain on Monday, October 9, to rally outside City Hall to push Mayor Bill de Blasio to adopt a new direction for his affordable housing plan. Their alternative proposal, which had been presented by the leading advocates to the mayor ten days prior, calls for a radical investment in building new housing for low-income families, especially seniors, which critics say has

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  • Pushing New Affordable Housing Plan, Activists Plan Massive City Hall Rally

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     De Blasio unveils his housing plan (photo: Ed Reed)


    As elected officials and candidates march in the annual Columbus Day parade on Monday, a separate gathering of members of church congregations, senior centers, schools, and homeowners associations will convene outside City Hall to present an affordable housing plan that they believe is a viable alternative to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s current program.

    The coalition of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and East Brooklyn Congregations plans to lead 5,000 people in the rally on Monday to push the

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  • What’s The [DATA] Point? 77,651, with the City Housing Commissioner

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 12 - 77,651 with Maria Torres-Springer, housing commissioner in the de Blasio administration [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of the podcast, we bring you excerpts of a speech the city's housing commissioner, Maria Torres-Springer, gave at a Citizens Budget Commission event on Wednesday, September 20, followed by 15 minutes of Q-and-A with the commissioner. You'll hear a brief

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  • Protecting Tenants from Construction Harassment

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    photo, including three of the authors, via the Progressive Caucus


    We’ve seen it in our districts. A new landlord takes ownership of a building and starts a construction project that never finishes in order to evict long-term residents. They may turn off the cooking gas indefinitely; they may even knock out the boiler with no explanation.

    For too many New Yorkers, this nightmare is their reality. The stories are plentiful: heat and gas shutoffs in the middle of winter, jackhammering causing cracks in apartment walls, loss of power, and lead dust in the air lasting for

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  • What’s The [DATA] Point? 100,000, with Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 6 -- 100,000, with Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.  [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of What's The [Data] Point?, a podcast from Citizens Budget Commission and Gotham Gazette, we were joined by Alicia Glen, New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, who discussed the rezoning of East Midtown, the de Blasio administration's new jobs

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  • Pacific Park Developer's Deceptive Affordable Housing Spin

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    Part of the 535 Carlton Pacific Park lottery ad


    Ashley Cotton's June 22 Gotham Gazette op-ed “Tackling New York’s Housing Affordability Crisis” is deeply deceptive, part of the long-running spin from the developer of the Pacific Park (formerly Atlantic Yards) project.

    It's on par with the misleading mayoral press release June 13 for the "100% affordable" 535 Carlton, which I analyzed in ...

  • Tackling New York’s Housing Affordability Crisis

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    Pacific Park Brooklyn (photo: Max Touhey)


    Crystal Patterson is a fourth-generation New Yorker whose city roots run deep: she was raised in East Flatbush, has family in Bedford-Stuyvesant and works in Midtown. Yet, even though Crystal calls New York home, for years she had no home to go to; she was one of the hundreds of thousands of city residents who struggled to find safe, affordable housing.

    Today, New York is experiencing an unprecedented affordability crisis. In all five boroughs, from Williamsbridge in the Bronx to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, the cost

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  • Illegal Conversions Crackdown Could Worsen City’s Housing Crisis

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    (photo: Tarry Hum)


    The New York City Council recently passed an “Aggravated Illegal Conversions” bill by a 49-0 vote. The legislation -- sponsored by City Council Members Gentile, Williams, and Grodenchik, and Brooklyn Borough President Adams, and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio -- significantly increases the civil penalties for owners who illegally subdivide their residential property to create

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  • Commissioner Puts Community Development at Forefront of Housing Plan

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    HPD Commissioner Torres-Springer, middle (photo: @MTorresSpringer)


    Discussing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan on Friday, the city’s housing commissioner stressed that it is also a program for community development.

    Speaking at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism's Center for Community and Ethnic Media, Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, gave an update on the administration’s 10-year 200,000-unit ...

  • After Major State Budget Investment, Time to Unify in Our Housing Fights

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    (NYC HDC rendering)


    For more than a year there has been wrangling and discord among developers, housing advocates, organized labor, and our elected leaders over an agreement on spending for affordable housing. A “memorandum of understanding” was drafted, but a budget and legislative session came and went in Albany without a consensus.

    Now, we finally have a state budget that gives us more than $2 billion in spending on housing. It will have its critics, but by and large this plan puts in front of us the resources and the political will to address the

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  • 10 Key Takeaways for New York City from the New State Budget

    Cuomo de Blasio


    A new $153 billion New York state budget was passed through the Legislature Sunday evening, nine days into the new fiscal year, following a particularly lengthy and tumultuous negotiation period.

    After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a budget deal Friday night, the Assembly approved the budget Saturday, while State senators -- called back to Albany from their districts -- moved through the final budget bills the following day.

    Within the spending plan are items that have serious ramifications for New York

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  • 'Community Preference' Lawsuit at Center of Affordable Housing, Segregation Debates

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    (rendering of new affordable housing being built in the Bronx, via HPD)


    In Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 State of the City speech delivered at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, he referred to the affordable housing crisis as a threat to “the very soul of the city.” The singularity of that “soul” captures de Blasio’s desired outcome of “the tale of two cities,” which he has said exists in New York,

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  • Building a New Future for Low-Income New Yorkers

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    Mayor de Blasio at a ground-breaking (photo: The Mayor's Office on Flickr)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that he will allocate much-needed additional funds to increase housing opportunities for 10,000 low-income families and seniors citywide. The New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) commends the mayor on providing nearly $2 billion in new housing subsidy for low-income families, which will further alleviate New York City’s housing crisis by maximizing low-income housing production.

    Now it is time to put those resources to work by

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  • De Blasio Focuses on Affordability Crisis in State of the City Speech

    De Blasio at State of the City

    Mayor de Blasio delivers State of the City speech (Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    At his fourth State of the City speech on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared an ambitious agenda to create thousands of jobs while continuing to expand affordable housing for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

    Speaking at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, de Blasio acknowledged in blunt terms that New York City is facing an affordability crisis that has been years in the making, resulting from rising rents and relatively stagnant incomes. “This affordability

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  • Funding Lawyers is Good, Fixing Housing Policy Would Be Better

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    "Keeping New Yorkers In Their Homes" (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    I’m a tenant lawyer: I work for a nonprofit that receives funding from the City to defend low income people in their eviction proceedings and keep them in their homes. I can do a lot for tenants and I know Right to Counsel for indigent folks facing eviction is good policy, everyone should have a lawyer in housing court. While I can help people facing unlawful eviction, I cannot make housing more affordable in New York City. But the real reason most

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  • Don't Dismiss Community Concerns as 'NIMBYism'

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    (photo: Michael Applebaum/Mayor's Office)


    Inwood opponents of a luxury tower widely touted as bringing affordable housing to the community are exhibit A in “Bill de Blasio Versus NIMBYism,” a Gotham Gazette article published October 7.

    But as one of several grassroots organizations who fought this project, we at Inwood Preservation are disappointed in the undeservedly negative and inaccurate picture of sincere citizen

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  • Correcting the Record on the Misguided Plan to Develop Elizabeth Street Garden

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    photo: Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden


    In response to City Council Member Margaret Chin’s op-ed column in Gotham Gazette published Oct. 6; from Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden President Jeannine Kiely and D. Kristin Shea:

    Council Member Margaret Chin is our only elected official who supports developing Elizabeth Street Garden. She seems dead set on “winning”

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  • Bill de Blasio Versus NIMBYism

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    Mayor de Blasio at a town hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In recent weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies have run up against an age-old forces of inertia and resistance in the city, especially one that springs forth in policy debates on everything from housing to bike lanes to school desegregation and even closing down Rikers Island jails. That force -- NIMBY or Not In My Back Yard-ism -- has taken distinct forms on different issues, but has been causing the de Blasio administration trouble and frustrating the mayor. At

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  • New Affordable Housing in Every Neighborhood, Including Mine

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    Council Member Chin, the author (photo: Charles Eshelman)


    No one said it would be easy.

    When voters overwhelmingly elected Mayor de Blasio almost three years ago, New Yorkers chose an elected official who pledged to tackle the tough issues plaguing us — including a promise to create 80,000 units of new affordable housing for a city in desperate need.

    Almost three years later, Mayor de Blasio — in partnership with many of my City Council colleagues — is making steady progress towards that goal. In March,

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