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City Unveils Affordable Housing Requirement for Developers

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City Planning Commission chairman Carl Weisbrod announced at a New York Law School breakfast on Friday that any developer seeking zoning changes will also be required to build affordable housing, the Times reports. "You can't build just market-rate housing, period," he is quoted as saying.

The details of the new policy — exactly how much affordable housing will be required, whether it will have to be built on-site, whether or not poor doors will be allowed (probably not) — have yet to be revealed. However, this announcement does provide the first clue into how mayor Bill de Blasio plans to fulfill his promise of creating or preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. Under the previous regime, developers could choose to claim tax breaks by making their project 20 percent affordable, or, as was more often the case, choose to not do that. Now, affordable housing in virtually any project that requires city-approved zoning changes will be, in Weisbrod's words, mandatory. "There will be a minimum that the developer has to do without subsidy," he said. The required percentage will also, in all likelihood, be greater than 20 (but probably less than the 50 percent that affordable housing advocates have called for).

Alma Realty's Astoria Cove is, apparently, going to be the first privately developed project to be subjected to the new rules.
· New York Will Require More Builders to Add Affordable Units [NYT]
· Affordable Housing coverage [Curbed]