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Affordable housing advocates remain opposed to mayor's inclusionary housing program

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A new study’s conclusion hasn’t bridged the divide between the warring sides

Peter Zoon via Flickr

A new study analyzing the merits of the mayor’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, which was supposed to mend the rift between affordable housing advocates and the city administration, has only made matters worse, Politico reports.

The 49-page report essentially repeated the findings from a 2015 study, according to Politico, which the city had commissioned from the same firm it did in 2015. The key points of contention were about creating more union jobs and offering a greater deal of affordable units, but this new study concluded that changes proposed to MIH could open up the city to lawsuits.

The proposed changes were put forward by the Real Affordability for All coalition (RAFA). While they had many concerns and differences with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s MIH vision, they agreed to back it in early 2016, with the promise of this study, which has just concluded.

RAFA had wanted more construction jobs to go to local workers and to mandate a state-sponsored apprenticeship program in order for developers to build more at a particular site. The city however argued that connecting local hiring to the zoning law could open it up lawsuits under federal and state law, according to Politico.

RAFA also wanted that half of all new apartments built be offered to New Yorkers making between 30 and 100 percent of the area median income, compared to the city’s existing 30 percent rent-regulated apartments requirement at present.

The city however argued that this would be a deterrent to developers, which RAFA has countered by saying it is just a free give away to them. In light of this disagreement, Politico notes that the coalition has instead been reaching out to individual City Council members to decline support of massive new projects in their neighborhood, as they make their way through the city’s review procedure.