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'Still Your City': Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Progress Helping New Yorkers Afford Their Homes and Neighborhoods

January 12, 2017

Three years into Mayor’s housing plan: 41,600 families see rent-protected and needed repairs, 20,800 new affordable homes coming online for New Yorkers to rent

Affordable housing in 2016 hits 25-year high

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that his Administration financed more affordable housing in 2016 than in any time in the past 25 years. Three years in, his team has extended affordability for decades to come at 41,600 homes and spurred construction of 20,800 new affordable apartments.

There are apartments to serve everyone from seniors on fixed incomes, to formerly homeless families, to the nurses, teachers and first responders that make New York City run, and rents are generally set at about one-third of the income of incoming tenants.

Apply for affordable housing at or by calling 311.

The housing plan’s impact will be felt in more and more communities this year as the newly-built affordable homes that got underway just after Mayor de Blasio took office finish construction and begin renting to New Yorkers, and as the City’s targeted preservation programs lock-in affordable homes in neighborhoods facing gentrification.

“If you are worried about paying your rent, we are fighting for you every day. No matter how much it changes, this is still your city. It must be a place for everyone, or it won’t work for anyone. That’s why we are building and protecting the most affordable housing in a generation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“This is about saving a mixed-income New York, and so we've held nothing back. We doubled the housing capital budget. We rewrote every term sheet to get more for the public in every housing project. We passed the biggest overhaul of City zoning in fifty years. And it is making a difference. Not since Ed Koch has this city built and protected as much affordable housing as we did in 2016. As we protect more buildings and our newly built apartments rent up, New Yorkers are going to see and feel a difference in their neighborhoods," said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.

The mayor stood with residents of at Monsignor Alexius Jarka Hall on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, where a $19-million preservation project will keep all 63 senior apartments affordable for another 35 years, as well as repair the building’s roof, exterior, plumbing and electrical system, and renovate each apartment’s kitchen. This work is typical in preservation agreements the City secures with building owners who agree to keep their property affordable. While rents for a one-bedroom apartment Williamsburg average $3,000 per month, no unit at Jarka Hall charges more than $1,000.

“It is good to know that in this crisis of affordability, there are political leaders who are willing to step forward to protect low-income housing in our communities, particularly that of some of our most vulnerable residents. The People’s Firehouse, Inc., and our sister organizations in the Mobilization Against Displacement, are working to retain the diversity and vitality of our North Brooklyn neighborhoods, while supporting housing policies which address changing demographics and expanding the range of those we serve,” Daniel Rivera, Executive Director, The People’s Firehouse, Inc., which owns the residence said.

With a combined total of 62,506 homes financed since 2014, Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan will reach the goal of building and preserving 200,000 units on time.

“Affordable housing is the bedrock of New York City’s diversity. Three years in, we are delivering results on record scale to ensure New Yorkers at every income can find or stay in housing they can afford, in the neighborhoods they love. Each of the 62,000 affordable homes we’ve financed represents an opportunity: for working families, the homeless, and the lowest income New Yorkers – all of whom have been hit by rising rents,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “This is a massive enterprise, involving not just an unparalleled investment of resources, but the creative thinking and commitment of the entire HPD team and our partners at all levels of government and across the affordable housing community, working together to shape a stronger, more inclusive City for generations to come.”

City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod said, "We at City Planning are proud to work collaboratively with our colleagues at HPD to devise and implement new zoning tools to make affordable housing easier to build, address the needs of a growing city, and make our neighborhoods better for those living in them today and for future generations."

New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin said, “HDC applauds our many partners across government, private, and non-profit sectors who are dedicated to bringing the Mayor’s vision for a more equitable New York to reality. Creating and preserving more than 60,000 affordable homes since the inception of Housing New York is a great accomplishment, and certainly no easy task. This took a truly collaborative effort that has leveraged financing programs as diverse as the neighborhoods we serve to affect positive transformation and increased economic growth for our communities. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his leadership and dedication to improving the lives of all New Yorkers and look forward to even greater success in the coming years as we continue to work together to fulfill the goals of the Housing New York plan.”

“I appreciate Mayor de Blasio’s unrelenting commitment to create and preserve affordable housing units in Brooklyn and across New York City. New Yorkers at nearly every economic level are battling an affordability crisis, and they need champions in the public and private sector who are focused on every block of the five boroughs. We will continue to advance Brooklyn forward as a safe place where everyone can afford to raise healthy children and families,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“Mayor de Blasio set his sights on an ambitious affordable housing plan that in just three years has already made an impact. Key to the success of that plan is to approach affordable housing community by community. Unlike his predecessors, Mayor de Blasio has not made volume the focus of his plan, he has made people its focus and put a face to every affordable home created. When people are the focus, you begin to retain and improve communities; and you do so for all those living in it regardless of income, and with respect to their profession, age, disability or military service,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.

“Affordable housing changes residents' lives and provides them with the foundation to build a future for themselves and their families," said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Committee on Housing. "I commend this Administration for recognizing that affordable housing is a moral mandate as well as a practical one and for showing so many hardworking New Yorkers that we're committed to addressing their needs."

“The cost of living in New York City is quickly rising and the cost of housing in Brooklyn is skyrocketing. Here in Williamsburg, affordable housing is few and far between. However, the Mayor’s commitment to creating and preserving 200,000 affordable units is a giant leap in the right direction. The numbers speak for themselves, we are almost there. The Mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality & Affordability programs are valuable tools in building affordable housing for all New Yorkers. From families of three to families of six the Mayor’s programs will surely keep New Yorkers in New York. I congratulate Commissioner Vicki Been and Mayor Bill de Blasio on their success,” said Assembly Member Joseph Lentol.

“It is not uncommon for government to fall short of goals it set for itself. The Administration should be commended for achieving its goal in ensuring quality, affordable housing is within reach for thousands of New Yorkers. While this is good forward movement, we know affordable housing remains a major issue. I look forward to working together in pushing to continue to adequately address it,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings.

“Solving our affordable housing crisis is the hardest and most important task we have in the City today, so today’s announcement is refreshing and reassuring that we are well on our way towards achieving the goal of building and preserving more affordable units than the city has done in decades,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability will help create affordable units on new projects seeking rezonings, many other programs such as SARA, ELLA and these preservation efforts all help us put this puzzle together. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, City Planning Director Carl Weisbrod and HPD Commissioner Vicki Been for working to preserve these units and for the historic amount of units created in the last three years.”

“If we are to continue being a city of inclusion, a city that welcomes everyone, we must continue the fight for affordable housing,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “More important than talking about the issue is making progress by actually preserving and expanding affordable housing units across the city. To that end, I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his steadfast commitment to provide all New Yorkers an affordable place to call home, and I look forward to continued progress in the years to come.”

“After decades of losing more and more affordable housing, our city is making progress to turn the tide for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers struggling to pay the rent,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Whether you are a senior looking to stay in the neighborhood you helped build, or a family looking to make ends meet, your city is fighting for a more affordable future for you and your family. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to the creation and preservation of affordable housing units.”

New units financed under the Housing New York Plan are already starting to be available to come on line and families are starting to move into those homes. Nearly 10,000 newly constructed affordable homes have been made available to families in New York City since 2014 and the City estimates that another 3,500 new City-financed homes will be ready for families to move into in 2017.

In 2016, the City financed 21,963 homes: 6,844 newly constructed apartments and 15,119 preserved homes, representing a direct investment of $990 million by the City of New York, which leveraged more than $1.4 billion in bonds issued by the Housing Development Corporation, including $1.2 billion in Sustainable Neighborhood Bonds – the first social impact investment bond of its kind in the United States.

To meet the goals of Housing New York, the Mayor doubled the capital funding for HPD, and, most recently, in the ten-year capital plan included nearly $7.5 billion for affordable housing, and more than $1 billion in funding for the parks, libraries, road construction and other infrastructure necessary to support neighborhood growth and new housing opportunities.

“We applaud Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to ensuring more hard-working families, seniors and those struggling to get back on their feet have access to affordable homes. We will continue to work with the mayor on his affordable housing plans so that working people can stay in their neighborhoods and we maintain the vibrant diversity that makes our city great,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa.

Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37/AFSCME, said, “DC 37 members are hardworking public employees who strive every day to improve the quality of life in New York City. They are also acutely aware of how hard it is to pay the rent here. That’s why we have supported Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to create more affordable housing units. There is more work to be done, but we applaud the focus that the mayor has brought to this daunting problem – and the results.”

Progress in 2016:

More senior housing: New programs, including the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program have resulted in the new construction and preservation of 1,166 affordable apartments for a growing senior population, who too are often living on fixed incomes. This brings the total number of senior affordable apartments financed to date to more than 4,000. Significantly, the passage of Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) will allow for more and a broader range of senior affordable housing.

More apartments for the very lowest-income families: The federal government has historically provided housing support to the poorest households, while the City supported low-income working households. With Washington cutting back, the de Blasio Administration has stepped in with a new Extremely Low and Low Income Affordability (ELLA) program. In 2016, 19 percent of the homes financed were for New Yorkers making less than $19,050, or $24,500 for a family of three. Approximately 4,200 homes for extremely-low income families were financed last year, bringing the three-year total to 8,877.

New Rules for growth: Implemented the strongest Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program in the nation that requires developers to create permanently affordable housing as a condition of development in areas rezoned for growth. MIH is responsible for over 4,500 affordable housing units, 1,500 of which will be permanently affordable.

Stable housing for the formerly homeless: Through a coordinated, multi-agency strategy to help stem the homelessness crisis and return families to stable housing, the City financed 2,546 apartments for the formerly homeless in 2016, bringing the HNY total to 5,160.

Easier Access: Introduced new affordable housing lottery rules to make it simpler and fairer to apply. The changes prohibit owners from rejecting an applicant solely on the basis of credit history or housing court history; promote a streamlined interview process to reduce applicant no-shows; offer greater language access and accessibility for people with disabilities at all stages of the application process; consistency in how developers and marketing agents communicate with applicants; increased privacy protections; and increased transparency of the appeal process.

Construction Type

CY 2016 Starts

HNY Starts to Date

New Construction






Total Plan To Date



Click here for full housing production fact sheet.

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