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NYC perseveres with affordable housing agenda despite costly obstacles

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Despite tax cuts and increasing construction costs the city is staying true to its affordable housing commitment

Despite mounting obstacles, the de Blasio administration is forging ahead with its plan to preserve and create affordable housing in New York City, all part of the mayor’s affordable housing 2.0 agenda, the New York Times reports.

Chief among those obstacles are the tax code changes under the Trump administration. At the core of this issue is the reduced price of the credit and the increased subsidy the city has to put in. The city could lose nearly $200 million due to these changes, but the administration is hopeful that Congress will pass new legislation in regards to the low income tax credit system, which in turn would negate the effects of the Trump administration’s tax cuts.

Other factors include the rise in construction costs, and the growing price of purchasing land for new development. In addition, the city has committed $1.9 billion toward preserving more low-income housing, and in turn taken the overall cost of the affordable housing agenda to $83 billion. Many of the cost factors listed above have more than doubled the cost of the agenda from when it was first introduced in 2014 to present.

As per the Times’s analysis, the de Blasio administration’s decision to up the affordable housing count—from 200,000 to 300,000—by 50 percent from the first agenda to the second is reflective of the escalating costs; potentially the administration could have increased this even more in a different economic climate.

Overall, housing advocates that the Times interviewed complained the city wasn’t transparent enough about its spending on affordable housing, but city officials countered that they can’t give details on how much tax breaks they give to developers so developers don’t try to use that as leverage. Still, the city feels it is getting more than enough interest in new development to keep persevering with its affordable housing agenda.