FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES CITY PROPERTIES DESIGNATED FOR THE CREATION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING DURING WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, August 28, 2005
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Not so long ago, City government was New York's biggest residential landlord, with more than 100,000 units of housing and 5,000 vacant lots in its real estate holdings. It was the dismal result of years of widespread abandonment of private housing in many neighborhoods.
"Those days are thankfully becoming a rapidly fading memory. Building on two decades of effort to use City-owned land and buildings to create quality affordable housing, our Administration is now ending an era in New York's history. We're asking private and non-profit housing developers to submit proposals to create more than 3,200 units of mixed-income housing in all five boroughs on the last remaining 248 vacant lots owned by the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
"In the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn, and Harlem, this housing will be built as owner-occupied, one-to-four family homes, or as mid-sized apartment buildings. There will also be a major new co-op and condo development in Far Rockaway, as well as new, low-income apartments on Staten Island's North Shore. At least 30% of all of this new housing will be affordable; in fact, proposals that include even more affordable housing than that will get preference in deciding how we use these properties. In today's hot real estate market, that extra credit for extra affordability is good news for families hoping to buy their first homes, and for longtime residents fearful of being priced out of their neighborhoods.
"Keeping our city the home of people of all income levels is why our Administration has launched the biggest affordable housing initiative New York has seen since the mid-1980s. Our $3 billion plan calls for preserving and creating affordable housing for more than 200,000 New Yorkers by the end of 2008. Today, with 28,550 units built, preserved, or underway, we're more than 40% of the way to that target, and well ahead of schedule.
"Putting the once-vast supply of City-owned properties back into housing production is good news that also presents a challenge: Finding new ways to build affordable housing in the future. And our Administration is leveraging today's hot real estate market to do just that. Since January, for example, we've secured rezonings of Manhattan's Hudson Yards and West Chelsea areas, and also portions of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. In the years to come, these neighborhoods will have 30,000 new apartments-and the new zoning regulations we've passed will require that almost 30% of these apartments be affordable.
"No question about it, we're in the midst of a housing boom. Because we've driven crime down to record lows, raised our quality of life, improved our schools, and invested in all our communities, developers are putting up new homes all over town, even in communities once considered unsafe. Last year, the City authorized construction of more than 25,000 units of housing-five times the number approved ten years ago, and a 32-year high. And this year, we're on course to do even better. That surge in housing is a tremendous vote of confidence in New York's future; our Administration's affordable housing efforts are helping ensure that all New Yorkers will have a chance to enjoy that future.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Edward Skyler (212) 788-2958