Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

  • Video Brief: Housing and the 2021 Election

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    Housing plans in motion (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In the latest video brief on key issues facing New York City and at the center of the 2021 city elections, hosts Ben Max and Jarrett Murphy discuss housing, including the them es of housing development, neighborhood rezonings, affordable housing, homelessness, and NYCHA public housing. Watch:

  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Talk Tenants and Housing

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    Housing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Nine leading candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to be New York City’s next mayor appeared at a recent virtual forum to offer their stances on issues critical to tenants. Two-thirds of New Yorkers are renters, which means the forum provided candidates a crucial opportunity to impress a large and important group of voters with their policy ideas to solve the city’s housing problems, especially amid a pandemic that has exacerbated existing inequities.

    At the February 27 forum

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  • How New York City Can Truly Turn the Tide on Homelessness

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    Housing underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We as a city spend $3 billion annually on shelters -- including renting hotel rooms -- that fail to provide the services New Yorkers experiencing homelessness need. 

    These band-aid solutions don’t work. They’ve never worked. Before COVID-19, more than half of New Yorkers were paying more than 30% of their income on

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  • Comprehensive Planning is Not Just About Housing and Zoning

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    Rendering (photo: mayor's office)


    The City Council held a hearing this week on a bill to implement comprehensive long-term planning in New York City. With the right amendments, we think this legislation has the potential to foster a more equitable and rational planning process to guide land-use changes in New York City — one that will balance local and citywide needs.

    But comprehensive planning is about much more than land use. Done right, comprehensive planning touches on decisions in nearly all aspects of city life: education,

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  • City Council, De Blasio Administration Clash Over Comprehensive Planning Legislation

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    New York City (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    City Council members and officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration clashed at a Tuesday hearing over proposed legislation to overhaul, consolidate, and in some ways expand the city’s planning processes into a singular ten-year procedure that would align budget, policy, and land use decisions.  

    The proposal was released by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in December and seeks to replace what he calls redundant, antiquated, inequitable, and ineffective existing

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  • Kathryn Garcia Continues Fleshing Out Mayoral Campaign Platform with Housing, Transit and Food Plans

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    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In recent weeks and months, former New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia has further filled out her campaign platform as she runs for mayor, releasing plans for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and working with the federal government, building and maintaining housing, and improving the city’s transit and public spaces. Garcia, who has never run for elected office before but is a veteran of city government in several roles with major responsibilities, is running on her experience as a manager

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  • Ending the Hierarchy of Homelessness, Getting Everyone Housed

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    A scene from the Bronx (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The number of military veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States was cut nearly in half between 2010 and 2016, the result of a focus on veterans’ homelessness by the Obama administration.  

    This focus included: ...

  • Everything Says Put Housing First; So Why Does New York Put Housing Last?

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    Supportive Housing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For several years, perhaps the foremost issue in New York City politics was homelessness. But for all the talk, not much has been done. In fact, things have in some significant ways only been getting worse.

    Housing is a human right. It is a physiological need and we cannot have a functioning society without it. Yet our city has made this most basic need

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  • Every New Yorker Has a Right to a Roof, We Need an Integrated Housing Plan to Get There

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    New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Well before the beginning of the pandemic that has turned life upside down, New Yorkers already faced a devastating affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Even without the dramatic wave of unemployment brought about by a global pandemic, low-income tenants and homeless people across the city faced a grave lack of truly affordable housing and the absence of an effective citywide plan to fix it. Now, of course, the crisis has deepened, with tenants who have long lived paycheck to paycheck

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  • Gowanus Rezoning Exemplifies Smart Housing Policy in New York; Let's Get It Passed

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    Housing (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Reversing the many factors contributing to New York’s long-standing housing emergency will not be easy, but it is possible. In fact, the path toward a more equitable and affordable city is already emerging. 

    In the proposed Gowanus rezoning, we can see the future right in front of us. The proposal is a model example of the sort of planning that, if replicated, will result in the city we aspire to create – one that overcomes rising housing costs and confronts our legacy of redlining and

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  • Seizing the Opportunity to Create New Affordable Housing at Reduced Cost

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    Housing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In Governor Cuomo’s State of the State this week, he announced support for plans to convert underutilized commercial buildings into supportive and affordable housing, saying, "The housing problem in our cities has gotten worse. But the crisis of growing vacancies in our commercial property provides an opportunity. We should convert vacant commercial space to supportive and affordable housing and we should do it now."

    The governor is right, and this could not come at a more critical time. With

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  • What's The [Data] Point? $4 Billion, Resetting the Development Debate in New York City

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    Where an Amazon HQ was to be (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 100 -- $4 billion, The Development Discussion [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    As we continue our series on land use, housing, and development in New York City, we were joined by Michelle de la Uz of Fifth Avenue Committee and the City Planning

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  • The Pandemic Means We Must Put Federal Block Grants to Better Use

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    Housing is the focus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Over the next several months, New York City will continue deciding how to disperse roughly $34 million in federal Community Service Block Grants (CSBG) and related funds that are available for the current period. However, at this juncture, the magnitude and intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects suggest strongly that going forward the money should go to community-based groups focused on meeting two urgent needs: relieving hunger and preventing homelessness. 

    CSBG funds are made available

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  • Democratic Mayoral Candidates Offer Ideas on Housing, Homelessness and NYCHA

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Eight mayoral candidates participated in a recent forum focused on public and private housing, and homelessness. The December 5 event, which was part of the 15th annual West Side Tenants' Conference, featured Brooklyn City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, former nonprofit executive Dianne Morales, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, entrepreneur Joycelyn Taylor, former city Sanitation

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  • Owning Our Homes, Owning Our Future: A Path to a Just Recovery

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    Housing on the line (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor’s Office)


    On the eve of the pandemic, I gathered with my neighbors outside their building in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx to sound an alarm. For those tenants, it wouldn’t be true to say that “crisis had hit home.” They had been steeped in crisis for some time.

    For three decades, the landlord of 2201-2205 Davidson Avenue had racked up a $12.6 million debt in unpaid property taxes

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  • WATCH: Democratic Mayoral Candidates Talk NYCHA, Housing, and Homelessness

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    Top (l-r): Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Kathryn Garcia, Carlos Menchaca
    Bottom (l-r): Dianne Morales, Scott Stringer, Joycelyn Taylor, Maya Wiley


    Eight Democratic candidates for New York City mayor running in the June 2021 primary appeared by Zoom on Saturday to discuss public housing, private housing, homelessness, and the issues and policies that connect them all. The candidates offered their thoughts on current policies, offered their ideas for the future, and discussed what they would do if they were mayor today. Participants were Carlos Menchaca, Eric Adams, Dianne Morales,

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  • A Flushing Tragedy Underscores Acute Affordable Housing Crisis

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    A line for food in Flushing (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Pedro Rodriguez posted a video to Facebook of a homeless man bent over and lifeless in his cardboard shelter made up of several boxes, with one serving as the shelter’s threshold where the elderly Asian man had neatly placed his shoes. Posted this past Saturday morning, Rodriguez’s video ended with Fire Department responders lifting the man’s torso and ascertaining he had died hours earlier. Rodriguez, who works at La Jornada, Flushing’s largest food pantry, noted a growing presence of

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  • Shifting the Lines of Opportunity in New York City

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    Redesign rendering (photo: mayor's office)


    My family has a uniquely American story that offers inspiration -- and cause for local changes to ensure opportunity for all.

    My immigrant parents of four kids were determined to achieve the American Dream but did not have access to resources or the opportunity to give their children the material needs that are often associated with being in this country. 

    What we did have was resolve and an unyielding faith that anyone could make it in America, if they worked hard enough. 

    My parents' foremost

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  • What's The [Data] Point? 8,200 - The Gowanus Rezoning, with City Council Member Brad Lander

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    Council Member Brad Lander (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 97: 8,200 - the Gowanus Rezoning with City Council Member Brad Lander [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    City Council Member Brad Lander joined the show to discuss the Gowanus rezoning proposal that is entering final stages of negotiation and the

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  • Upper West Side Saga Exposes City’s Ongoing Failures on Housing and Homelessness

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    Mayor de Blasio addressing housing plans (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City’s recent refusal to stand up to wealthy Upper West Siders is just another instance in an unending pattern of failures on housing and homelessness. 

    The saga of the Lucerne is emblematic of the interplay between the powerful and the powerless in New York City. In an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, the de Blasio administration (after fierce advocacy from the Homeless Can’t

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  • Affordable Housing is the Key to New York’s Recovery

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    Housing is essential to the city's recovery (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As we begin yet another month of the pandemic, New Yorkers are alarmed at the acute rent crisis crippling our city. While statewide executive orders temporarily postponing evictions help for the moment, unemployed tenants are building up unpaid rent debt that they will struggle to pay even after they begin working again. And even before COVID-19, more than half of city renters were paying more than a third of their income in rent, and a third of city renters paid more than half

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  • Scott Stringer is Putting Affordable Housing at the Center of His Mayoral Pitch — What's His Vision?

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    Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer (photo: @scottmstringer)


    When he officially launched his campaign for mayor earlier this month, Comptroller Scott Stringer took square aim at what he called “the gentrification industrial complex” that he says has flourished in New York City despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s years-long effort to stem the tide of housing unaffordability. Stringer, a two-term Democrat, has for years examined, audited, and criticized various aspects of the mayor’s housing program, arguing it is not aptly designed to help those most in need of affordable housing,

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  • New Yorkers Should Back NYCHA’s New Blueprint for Change

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    NYCHA Chair Greg Russ (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    With so much attention focused on the COVID-19 catastrophe and the 2020 elections, our leaders and the media have all but overlooked the importance of a plan to improve the lives of 300,000 low-income and working-class New Yorkers, many of them people of color. The plan merits support from all of New York’s elected officials.

    New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair Gregory Russ has produced an innovative ...

  • Experts Examine Challenges and Solutions to Building Affordable Housing in New York

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    Mayor de Blasio breaks ground on an affordable housing project in Brooklyn (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's office)


    New York City’s housing stock has failed to keep pace with job growth over the last decade and most newly created housing continues to be attainable only for higher-income residents. A panel of experts examined those trends, presented in a new report released Wednesday, and the policy choices that led to them, and recommended solutions that the city and state should adopt if they hope to mitigate a housing crisis that has been further

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  • The Bronx to SoHo: Pull Your Weight in Addressing the City's Housing and Segregation Crises

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    Mayor de Blasio with New Yorkers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Dear Mayor de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Brewer, Council Member Chin, and Members and Residents of Manhattan Community Board 2:

    My name is John Sanchez, I’m the District Manager of Bronx Community Board 6, a great neighborhood, but also among the poorest in our city. In Bronx CB6, which includes Belmont, East Tremont, and West Farms, there is a 31% poverty rate, a higher than ...