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City Announces $3B Initiative To House New York's Homeless

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A new initiative to aggressively combat homelessness in the city will see the addition of 15,000 units of housing over the next 15 years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is investing $3 billion in an effort to stem the tide of homelessness which has seen the number of those living in shelters rise to 58,000 this year, with many more still without shelter. The new initiative, called Supportive Housing, is not just relegated to finding affordable dwellings for those in need. Those eligible will also receive services like medical care and substance abuse counseling, according to WSJ. Those seeking supportive housing will pay about 30 percent of their income or the monetary assistance they receive from the city or state towards these services, which include housing.

The $3 billion in funding committed by De Blasio will in part provide tax incentives to developers who include affordable units in new developments. These apartments will account for half of the 15,000 new units to be developed under the plan. Developers will receive as much as $1 billion in subsidies to make the effort a reality. The other 7,500 units will come about as the city renovates existing apartment buildings to include this type of affordable housing. Close to 15,000 such units have already been built through similar supportive housing programs in the last 20 years, according to WSJ.

Development of these units are still quite a distance away. The earliest possible completion date for any of them are 18 months from now, and the project won't be complete for another 15 years, according to WSJ.

De Blasio is, of course, still trying to champion the housing crisis throughout the city with his plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in New York over the next 10 years. But several community boards have voted against the initiative, according to the New York Post. Of the city's 59 community boards, 22 have voiced their opinions against the plan saying that it fails to benefit middle income New Yorkers. The community board vote is only advisory, but it could impact the way the City Council votes to allow for the creation of new affordable units through zoning changes, according to the Post.
· New York City Plans $3 Billion Homelessness Effort [WSJ]
· De Blasio's affordable-housing plan doesn't have many backers [NY Post]
· Supportive Housing archives [Curbed]