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Too Few of NYC's New Units Will Be Permanently Affordable

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Some not-great-news from the city housing department by way of DNAinfo: only 3,000 of the 20,000 units of affordable housing created or preserved by the de Blasio administration last year will remain permanently affordable. The remainder will eventually be able to pass into market rate. Here's how the numbers break down: 8,484 new affordable units were created last year. Of those, 3,031 units were built under the inclusionary housing program, meaning that they will stay permanently affordable. The remaining 5,423 of those being built by the city will not remain permanently affordable, and will be able to transition to market rate in 30 or more years. The remaining 11,000-plus units of the 20,000 are existing units that are being preserved by the de Blasio administration through affordable housing agreements.

These agreements are being critiqued by housing advocates who say de Blasio is using the same failing methods employed by other mayors as a crutch to reach his ambitious goal of 200,000 new and preserved affordable units within the next ten years. "They will tell you that they're interested in permanent affordability and good stewardship," the director of planning and community development for the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development opined to DNAinfo, "but at the end of the day, policies speak louder than words."

Currently, de Blasio's program relies on incentives like tax credits to convince for-profit developers to include affordable units in their developments. These agreements eventually expire, which means that the city needs to create new deals with the developers and owners to keep the apartments affordable. DNAinfo elaborates,

That means that in many neighborhoods that have gentrified since original agreements were signed, the city must now outbid an expensive rental market ... As a result, HPD is now spending up to 30 percent of its housing subsidies towards preserving existing units, according to ANHD. The city's Housing Preservation and Development department put in their two cents,

The city's new mandatory inclusionary housing program is focused on delivering permanently affordable housing to communities across the city. Because the land use changes we're making are permanent, so is the affordable housing. And because of our financial analysis and enforcement tools, we can be sure those units won't just be permanently affordable on paper, but in reality. · Only 3,000 of De Blasio's 20,000 Affordable Housing Units Are Permanent [DNAinfo]
· De Blasio Unveils 10-Year, $41B Affordable Housing Plan [Curbed]