Mayor de Blasio Announces City Secured More Affordable Housing in 2017 Than in Any Prior Year

January 16, 2018

All-time high: 24,536 affordable homes financed in 2017, nearly half for families living on less than $43,000; number of homes in the City’s affordable housing lottery doubles

Apply for affordable housing, fight eviction or freeze your rent with 311 or at nyc.gov/LongLiveNY

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced that his administration financed more than 24,536 affordable homes last year, breaking an all-time record previously set by former Mayor Ed Koch in 1989. Nearly half of those homes – 48 percent – serve people making less than $33,400 per year, or $43,000 for a family of three.

The Mayor marked the milestone by joining 79 year-old Jasper Hurst as he signed a lease for his affordable apartment at the brand new Cypress Hills Senior Residences, where more than 50 tenants are moving in this month. The building was part of a major wave of construction financed early in the de Blasio administration that is now renting up. The City’s housing lottery posted a record 5,300 affordable apartments in 2017, more than double the 2,500 posted in 2014.

To help New Yorkers access these new opportunities, the City is increasing outreach, launching a new housing web portal today at nyc.gov/LongLiveNY, as well as new ads to direct tenants to resources to help apply for affordable housing, fight eviction, and freeze their rent.

“Housing is the number one expense in New Yorkers’ lives. We’re bringing that expense down by putting shovels in the ground, and putting keys in tenants’ hands. There is more help than ever to fight eviction, freeze your rent or find an affordable home – and we want New Yorkers to reach it,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Released in October, the City’s updated Housing New York 2.0 plan offers a suite of new programs, partnerships, and strategies to help finance 300,000 affordable homes – 100,000 more than initially planned – so that more families and seniors can afford their rent or buy their first home.

The City has financed 87,557 affordable apartments in the past four years. The total direct City investment under the Mayor’s housing plan so far is $3.3 billion, and the total bond financing issued by the Housing Development Corporation is over $6.2 billion. In 2017 alone, New York preserved 17,359 affordable apartments and financed 7,177 new homes. This represents a direct City investment of $1.1 billion, leveraging more than $1.4 billion in bonds. 

Affordable housing numbers are available here.

“We have pushed this affordable housing engine to a new record, and that is a testament to the City agencies, the non-profits and private partners working together. These aren’t just numbers; they’re families. Today’s announcement means thousands more families will be able to live in the greatest city in the world, with real peace of mind,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.

“As Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee, I’ve been proud to work in partnership with the de Blasio administration in preserving and creating affordable housing at a rate that’s been never before seen in New York City,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. “The programs we have implemented have given hope and security to so many families, individuals and seniors, and I look forward to working with the city to continue this momentum in the coming year." 

“The importance of creating and securing more affordable housing in New York City cannot be overstated. Today’s announcement makes clear this administration’s commitment to doing just that. Continuing to advance the comprehensive approach needed to effectively address the affordability crisis here in New York City will require a sustained effort over many years. As Chair of the City Council’s Housing & Buildings Committee, I look forward to working with the administration, my colleagues in the Council, and various other stakeholders over the course of the next four years to help make New York City a more affordable place to call home,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee.
  
“Our progress last year represents a high-water mark for affordable housing production in New York City,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.  “Not only did we generate the most affordable housing in a single calendar year – a full half of those homes will serve extremely and very low-income New Yorkers. The City's unprecedented investment created opportunities for seniors, homeless residents, and first-time homeowners, as well as M/WBE firms across the five boroughs.  We thank the Mayor and all our partners as we pick up the pace even further through Housing New York 2.0 and work to ensure that all our neighborhoods are thriving, inclusive places of opportunity.”

“As we accelerate the pace of our affordable housing production, this progress demonstrates the City’s willingness and ability to deliver on its promises.  I am proud that the $1.4 billion in bonds that HDC contributed last year resulted in greater affordability for New Yorkers,” said Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “As we build on this momentum through Housing New York 2.0, we are grateful to Mayor de Blasio and all our partners for their shared commitment to creating a more equitable and affordable city for all.”

“Affordable housing for seniors in New York City is the number one priority.  As the need grows, the Administration’s aggressive and compelling response of increasing the number of planned units of affordable apartments is exactly the response that is needed,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado.

“We have made unprecedented investments in tenant protection in New York. These protections work when New Yorkers know about them and use them,” said Regina Schwartz, Director of the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit. "The Mayor created the Tenant Support Unit to do proactive outreach through door knocks and phone calls to make sure New Yorkers at risk of eviction have individualized assistance to connect to a variety of city services with ease in their community and in their own language.”

“Technology has the power to make information and service accessible to New Yorkers who need it most,” said Miguel Gamiño Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer. “New York City’s new Housing Portal is an example of important work that is accomplished when the community voice leads and our talented digital team partners with agencies to respond. This is how we use digital tools to help make our City the fairest in America.”

“Access to affordable housing is a fundamental human right and we can never afford to rest in New York City where so many of our neighbors face challenges securing safe, livable housing that meets their budget.  The Mayor has made significant strides in this area and, while we must do more, I’m pleased by the progress announced today.  This needs to be a priority at all levels of government and I’ll continue working in Washington for more federal funding for affordable housing, as well as promoting legislation to protect tenants from landlord abuses,” said U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez.

"I commend Mayor de Blasio and his administration on staying committed to building affordable housing for New York City families. I look forward to the housing that will be built throughout the city, including in my neighborhood of East New York where we worked together to secure 3,000 units of affordable housing through the East New York Neighborhood Plan,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal.

More Help Reaching New Yorkers:

148,000 New Yorkers live in apartments that have had long-term affordable rents protected through the City’s preservation programs since 2014.

180,000 New Yorkers have benefited from free legal services provided through City programs to stop eviction, harassment or displacement since 2014. Evictions are down 24 percent.

60,000 seniors are now enrolled in the SCRIE rent freeze program, up from 50,800 in 2015, and more than 13,300 New Yorkers with disabilities are enrolled in the DRIE rent freeze program, compared to 9,100 two years ago.

The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit has proactively made over 280,000 door knocks and phone calls to New Yorkers to make sure they know their rights and are helped through repairs, legal services and rental assistance enrollment.

5,300 affordable apartments hit the City’s Housing Connect lottery in 2017, double the number four years ago.

The City has made it easier to apply for an affordable apartment by letting users search Housing Connect lotteries by borough, income level, and household size. The City’s Housing Connect guides offer guidance throughout the application process and are available in up to 17 languages. The City launched the Ready to Rent program that pairs free financial counseling with application assistance for New Yorker’s seeking affordable housing.

HPD’s M/WBE Build Up Program spurred 42 projects with 6,890 affordable homes in 2017. They are expected to generate over $177 million in spending. In addition, HPD financed 52 projects, with 8,774 affordable homes, that require developers to participation in City’s HireNYC.

139 City-owned sites have been put to use in projects that will generate 9,500 affordable homes.

“At a time when the federal government is clearly pulling back and threatening to cut resources, we need to think creatively about finding new programs and solutions for creating and preserving affordable housing. The Administration’s housing plan is putting that into practice and engaging both the public and private sectors to address an affordability crisis that affects households at nearly every income level. We look forward to continuing our work with HPD to make New York more affordable,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO of the Community Preservation Corporation.

“The monumental achievements of Mayor de Blasio and his administration have proven that when New Yorkers work together, we can turn the tide against a housing crisis that some had thought to be insurmountable,” said Jolie Milstein, President and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH). “As our city continues to build and preserve affordable housing at a faster rate than ever before, each family’s success story is a reminder that this work must not end until every New Yorker has a safe and affordable home.”

“The pace at which the Administration has worked on affordable housing over the past 12 months is truly impressive. And just as important is the commitment they have shown to building with the details that create the greatest benefit for the local community; working with community-controlled mission-driven developers, pushing for deeper levels of affordability, and the new policy that ensures permanent affordability on city-owned land. These new affordable unit numbers are also a moment to note the equally impressive steps the Administration has taken over the past year to create new anti-displacement protections for private tenants. The new laws creating a Right to Council, a Certificate of No Harassment Program, and protections for tenants facing construction as harassment are all farsighted steps to help tenants protect themselves against displacement. This will all make a big difference for our neighborhoods, now and in the long-run,” said Benjamin Dulchin, Executive Director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.

To get help finding an affordable home, freezing your rent or fighting eviction, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/LongLiveNY.