The de Blasio administration is claiming an affordable housing victory: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that in 2018, more than 34,000 affordable homes were financed, breaking last year’s record of 24,536 affordable homes.
“Family by family, building by building, we’re giving people the security of knowing they can stay in the city they love,” de Blasio said in a statement.
In terms of numbers, that figure breaks down to 10,099 new homes—often financed through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which gives developers tax incentives for including affordable housing in their new buildings—and 24,061 homes that were “preserved,” which helps keep tenants in their homes (see the city’s work to keep Mitchell-Lama housing complexes affordable).
This brings the total number of affordable homes that have been added to the city’s housing stock under the de Blasio administration to 122,000—a little less than halfway toward its goal of creating or preserving 300,000 units by 2026.
The announcement comes at a time when New York City’s housing crisis hasn’t shown many signs of abating: In November, comptroller Scott Stringer released a report that identified 580,000 households across the city that are rent-burdened, i.e. paying more than half their income toward rent. About 90 percent of these households earn less than $47,000/year for a family of three. (De Blasio’s administration says that about 40 percent of the housing it created in 2018 would serve those New Yorkers.)
Stringer responded to de Blasio’s announcement with skepticism. “While Mayor de Blasio deserves credit for announcing incremental progress towards building housing for the lowest income New Yorkers, we need bigger, bolder, and quicker action for those who are already at a breaking point when it comes to housing affordability,” he said in a statement, pointing to the 60,000 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness as proof that more could be done.