De Blasio Administration Announces a Record-Breaking 20,325 Affordable Apartments and Homes Financed in Last Fiscal Year, Enough for 50,000 New Yorkers

July 13, 2015

More new affordable apartments underway than at any time since City’s housing department was created in 1978 

New programs for seniors, extremely low income New Yorkers and homeless families drive the creation of thousands of new apartments 

Major progress towards City’s goal of 200,000 affordable apartments in 10 years 
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City financed the creation and preservation of 20,325 affordable apartments and homes during fiscal year 2015, enough housing for more than 50,000 New Yorkers and the most in 25 years. The City broke an all-time record for the most new affordable apartments underway – nearly 8,500 – the highest figure since the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development was established in 1978. This affordable housing represents a direct investment of $618 million by the City of New York, thanks to significant increases in affordable housing by the de Blasio administration.  
This development and preservation represents tangible progress during the first full fiscal year of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan for 200,000 affordable apartments in 10 years. Roughly 85 percent of the homes financed in the last year were for extremely low, very low, and low income families. 
“This is real progress, in real time, for real families. We set out one year ago to change everything about how New York City builds and protects affordable housing. Today, there are more shovels going in the ground to build affordable homes than at any time in almost 40 years. And we are doing more than has ever been done to help New Yorkers feeling the pressure of this housing crisis to stay in their homes, and to protect them from harassment and displacement. Together, with the City Council, community-based non-profits, the private sector and partners across the five boroughs, we are going to ensure this remains a city for everyone,” said Mayor de Blasio. 
“As costs of living in New York City rise, it’s imperative that we proactively protect affordability in our communities and ensure that residents can make ends meet in the neighborhoods they helped build,” said Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito. “This announcement that a record-breaking creation and preservation of affordable housing units have been made possible in the last fiscal year is a hopeful sign that we will make this a city that embraces everyone. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio and his administration for their leadership and my fellow Council Members for committing ourselves to this critical endeavor for all New Yorkers.” 
The developments financed reflect the plan’s vision of expanding the range of New Yorkers reached, from extremely low income families to middle class wage earners who increasingly are struggling to make ends meet. This year’s progress was driven by new programs launched under Housing New York, including: 

  • 1,247 new apartments for the formerly homeless: To help stem the homelessness crisis and return families to stable housing, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation and the Department of Homeless Services launched the “HomeStretch” program that incorporates both shelter units and permanently affordable housing in the same development, making better use of the social services available and using shelter financing as leverage for the financing of the permanent homes.    
  • 1,544 apartments for seniors: HPD and HDC made changes to their supportive housing and preservation programs to realize the start of over 1,500 affordable senior units. They introduced the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments program to provide financing for the construction and renovation of affordable housing for very low income senior citizens.   
  • 1,164 new apartments for the lowest income families: HPD’s new Extremely Low and Low Income Affordability (ELLA) program was launched last fall, helping boost housing opportunities for families with the lowest incomes – those making less than $23,350 for a family of three. The City tripled the number of these affordable units compared to the previous fiscal year.   
  • 3,205 new apartments through “Inclusionary Housing”: HPD overhauled its Inclusionary Housing program to eliminate duplicative requirements and red tape, accelerating affordable housing delivered in market rate developments and doubling the number of any prior year.  

To meet the goals of Housing New York, the Mayor doubled the capital funding for HPD, and, most recently, in the ten-year capital plan included nearly $7.5 billion for affordable housing, and more than $1 billion in funding for the parks, libraries, road construction and other infrastructure necessary to support neighborhood growth and new housing opportunities.  
“Surpassing the 20,000 unit mark is a testament to the work we are doing across agencies and with our elected officials, community organizations, and other partners to help attack the affordability crisis. From housing for the formerly homeless and people with special needs to those at the lowest and middle incomes, each new and preserved unit represents the safety, stability and opportunity that an affordable home can provide,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “I am extremely proud of what this administration has accomplished in its first full fiscal year. It is gratifying to know that the changes and investments we have made under Housing New York are starting to take hold, and more importantly it means that we are speeding affordable housing to communities and families in need.”  
“The record-breaking 20,000 units demonstrate that this administration is achieving concrete results towards the ambitious vision of Housing New York.  Each unit of affordable housing that we created and preserved represents a strategic investment in revitalizing our communities and fostering economic opportunity for the families and neighborhoods we serve,” said HDC President Gary Rodney. “We couldn’t accomplish this without the support of our local stakeholders, and without the partnership of our development partners and the financial institutions who see the importance of investing in our amazing communities.” 



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In the coming year, the City is embarking on new and innovative efforts to further expand affordable housing opportunities for families:

  • This month, HPD announced preliminary plans for 1,200 new affordable apartments and homes in East New York over the next two years, where the City is engaged in comprehensive neighborhood planning. And the implementation of Mandatory Affordable Housing, which will begin the official land use process this September, will ensure permanently affordable housing is a significant part of future development. 
  • Changes to the 421-a tax benefit slated to take effect in January 2015 will double the affordable housing that program produces, and reach families with lower incomes. The new program will require affordable housing in every corner of the city and slash the subsidy per affordable apartment dramatically.  
  • The Fiscal Year 2016 budget includes $45 million in City capital for the coming year to support the new Green Housing Preservation Program to assist owners of small- to mid-sized multifamily properties across the city in undertaking energy efficiency and water conservation improvements, lowering their operating costs in exchange for long-term affordability preservation. 
  • Following the rollout of the City’s Building Opportunity initiative, launched to promote the participation of M/WBEs in the development and management of City-sponsored affordable housing, the first class in HPD’s inaugural capacity-building workshop series with the Department of Small Business Services is expanding involvement in affordable housing projects. 

“Every family deserves access to long-term affordable housing,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “I commend Mayor de Blasio for using every tool at his disposal to build and preserve thousands of affordable units across New York City. Today’s announcement is an important milestone, and I look forward to continuing our work together to create the type of affordable housing millions of New Yorkers need.  

We have a long road ahead of us toward reaching the goal of affordable housing for every New Yorker. In Fiscal Year 2015, we took significant strides down that road, thanks to a partnership between the vision of the de Blasio administration and the hard work of our non-profit and private development communities. It is critical that we create affordable housing opportunities in every corner of Brooklyn and at multiple bands of affordability, so all of our neighborhoods can benefit from the economic diversity that is prerequisite for a holistically thriving city. We must continue to push forward with smart and robust contextual development that engages all Brooklynites in the opportunities that new construction will create,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.  

“New housing development of all types is a major key to affordability in our city, and today’s announcement shows that we have made significant progress on this issue. Going forward, my office will continue to work with Mayor de Blasio and his administration, as well as our partners in government, non-profits and the development community, to plan and build new affordable housing units that work for the people of this borough and this city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“I commend the Mayor for being a real champion for affordable housing and for creating over 20,000 units just this year.  The Democratic Conference has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure all New Yorkers are able to have access to affordable housing options in the communities they call home,” said Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “New York has always been a state where people from all walks of life can set down roots and build strong, stable, and diverse communities and that fact has helped make New York the Empire State. My Senate Democratic colleagues and I will continue to stand with the Mayor in the fight to increase affordable housing options for all New Yorkers.” 

“The record breaking effort of Mayor Bill de Blasio to build and preserve affordable housing is paying dividends,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat, the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Housing Committee. “This city is in a housing crisis, and while we still have a long way to go, these numbers are very encouraging. I will continue working with the Mayor to build a city where everyone has a home." 

“Today’s announcement confirms that Mayor de Blasio is keeping his promise to make the creation of affordable housing a key priority of his first term. I congratulate the Mayor and HPD Commissioner Vicki Been on the striking progress the City administration has made in such a short time to ensure new homes are created for low, moderate and middle income New Yorkers in all five boroughs,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“Currently, too many New Yorkers are struggling to remain in their homes because they simply cannot afford the rent,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan has already taken a significant step in helping preserve and increase the number of affordable housing units in our communities. I commend Mayor de Blasio for working to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to afford and maintain a home.”

State Senator José Serrano, Jr. said, “I applaud Mayor de Blasio on this significant affordable housing victory. Fifty-thousand New Yorkers will now be able to afford to live in the city they call home. This is a monumental announcement and it shows the Mayor’s strong commitment to the residents of New York City with the most affordable units underway since NYCHA’s inception in 1978.”

“The scale of New York City’s housing crisis is unprecedented. I am impressed with Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Vicki Been’s work, and I am eager to work alongside them in meeting and surpassing our future affordable housing goals,” said Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez
“A home is the realization of a family’s dream. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Been for the progress in preserving and creating affordable homes in The Bronx and throughout our beloved city. My family has endured the struggle of keeping a roof over our heads so we genuinely appreciate the dedicated commitment in helping Bronxites and New Yorkers have a place to rest their heads at night. There is always more to do so that someone doesn’t decide between rent, groceries and prescription drugs. But, one choice is clear: a vision of Mayor de Blasio to bring tenants and developers together to create an affordable and livable New York City for all of us,” said Assembly Member Michael Blake.  

“I commend Mayor de Blasio, the City Council and the various agencies who made this progress possible. The future of New York depends on its ability to provide quality housing to struggling and working families. These numbers reflect a giant step forward in accomplishing a vision of housing affordability for all New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Marcos Crespo. 

“The significant progress demonstrated this year by Mayor de Blasio’s administration to increase access for quality affordable housing is a critical step in the right direction that will make a difference for so many families in my community, the Bronx and New York,” said Assembly Member Latoya Joyner. “For these families, there is help around the corner. Thanks to the historical rent freeze imposed on rent-regulated apartments, families in my district will have some relief – particularly those families that are paying half or more of their total household income to cover their rent and utility costs. I applaud this year’s investment and the Mayor’s plans for housing over the next decade, as it will protect the city’s most vulnerable populations – low income families with extremely high housing costs. I look forward to working closely with the Mayor to ensure that housing is affordable for all.”

“Together with the de Blasio administration, we’re not only preserving affordable housing, but creating more units at a faster rate than ever before. This is critical to ensure that New Yorkers can make their home in every corner of our city, regardless of economic status. I’m proud of what we’ve done and look forward to continuing this important work,” said Assembly Member Dan Quart.

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright said, “We must fight to keep and create new affordable housing units, especially for our senior citizens and long-time residents. It is unacceptable that people who contributed so much to our city are being forced to move because they can no longer afford to live here. Thank you to the Mayor for his efforts and for his support of M/WBEs in the development and management of City-sponsored affordable housing.”

“Mayor de Blasio’s plan for 200,000 affordable apartments in ten years is off to an impressive start, looking back at the first year since being implemented. We now have more units for those who need them most, like seniors and homeless families. Equally important, the City is preserving affordable housing units to keep the New York an affordable place to live. I look forward to seeing the Housing New York plan continue so that we can achieve the Mayor’s goal,” said Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda.

“Investments in affordable housing are investments in the future of New York and the work that has been done in communities like Highbridge should signify to all that this is an affordability plan in the best interests of New Yorkers in every borough,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “Rent burden and eviction have become a reality for too many New Yorkers and I am thankful that under the leadership of Mayor de Blasio the City has made real and meaningful strides in efforts to address our affordability and homelessness crisis. I am thrilled that we are ahead of schedule in our goal of creating and preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next ten years and thank the Mayor for his commitment to working families and to the vision of a New York in which everyone can comfortably live.”

“As the Council’s Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee, my goal has been to help address our city’s chronic housing shortage to ensure that New York becomes a place for all to thrive. Just one year after Mayor de Blasio announced the Housing New York plan, it’s clear that our administration shares a similar goal and is committed to solving our city’s affordable housing crisis with absolute urgency. I would like to thank the Mayor for delivering on his commitment during the first fiscal year, and look forward to working with him to ensure our city reaches the plan’s ambitious ten-year goal for our neediest New Yorkers,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.

“There are many reasons to support the Mayor’s efforts to provide affordable housing. Chief among them is the protection of the public’s health. With decent, affordable housing in communities across the city comes better living conditions, better health. The City’s efforts here are an important step forward in securing New York City’s future,” said Jill Furillo, RN and Executive Director of the New York State Nurses Association. 
“Mayor de Blasio had the courage to set an ambitious goal for new affordable housing this year.  The City not only met the goal, but exceeded it. That is cause for celebration for all New Yorkers, wherever we live. Each new unit of low income housing, each family relieved of homelessness, is a victory for the future of New York as a humane and vibrant city. The 27,000 CUNY faculty and staff whom I represent are keenly aware of the shortage of affordable housing. We salute the Mayor and the hundreds of people who worked to achieve today’s result.  And to the 50,000 New Yorkers enjoying new housing, we say, ‘Welcome home!’” said Barbara Bowen, President of the Professional Staff Congress at CUNY. 

Yvonne Stennett, Executive Director of Community League of the Heights (CLOTH) said, “Every sector of our city has the right to a decent, affordable place to live. As a society and city we must be sure that we make available opportunities for all our citizens to gain access to housing that is affordable, and allow each family to have a good quality of life. We must always be purposeful in the provision of affordable housing and ensure that we are fair to each of our communities.”

“I applaud the Mayor’s new dramatic housing initiative as it meets the dire needs of so many New Yorkers, especially low income seniors who often wait up to ten years on a waiting list. This comprehensive plan brings inventory to all New Yorkers, especially those who are vulnerable, poor or elderly. This is new day in housing for New York,” said Martin G. Englisher, Executive Vice President and CEO of YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.

“Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation applauds the Mayor’s efforts to preserve and create affordable housing. Housing is key to preserving the fiber of our communities that make New York City such a great place to live. NMIC looks forward to working with the de Blasio administration to make New York City a city that is accessible to all,” said Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.

Grace Bonilla, President and CEO of The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families said, “Stable housing is a critical component for the sustainability of our families. Too many times CHCF’s children’s education is interrupted because of the crisis created by homelessness. CHCF congratulates the Mayor and his administration for so aggressively changing the lives of our most vulnerable New Yorkers by providing homes they can afford.”
“Given the population trajectory and our economic reality, the Mayor’s affordable housing plan is essential for the city in general and the Bronx in particular. I applaud the Mayor’s plan,” said Bishop Earl W. McKay, Pastor of Church of God of Prophecy, and Chairperson of the CB4 Land Use Committee.

“The new programs launched under Housing New York are an important leap forward to improve the lives of everyday New Yorkers.” said Rob Solano, co-Executive Director of Churches United for Fair Housing. “I am encouraged this administration is committed to real affordable housing.”

“We commend the Mayor for making headway towards the goal of 200,000 sorely needed affordable apartments in New York City,” said Ramon Peguero, Executive Director of Southside United HDFC. “As our organization continues to advocate for the sustainability of North Brooklyn, we feel energized by this administration’s commitment to low income families. We hope that the Mayor continues to champion the needs of the various communities that make this city great while including them in the decision-making process.”

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