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Market Update Monday: Affordable-Housing Policy Takes Heat

Uncategorized // Mar 14, 2016

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With Mayor de Blasio’s ever controversial affordable-housing policy patiently awaiting its vote during the coming weeks, a comprehensive study used to supplement the plan is being critiqued for disregarding New Yorkers in the low-income bracket.

During late 2014 when San Francisco-based Bay Area Economics was hired by city officials to analyze the minimum number of affordable housing units needed to compel developers. This 270-page study ultimately manifested the proposal for the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing.

Though the concept is supported by the City Council, skeptics argue that even the most affordable units available are not cheap enough for the targeted low-income renters. Still in negotiations, de Blasio is now offering three rental tiers that the City Council would be able to choose from during rezoning. However, many officials feel that there is really no telling how far the policy can go being that the administration has yet to study the effects of low-rent housing.

“The city’s own Market and Financial Study … seemed to disregard how [Mandatory Inclusionary Housing] might serve deeper affordability needs that make up the epicenter of our housing crisis,” noted Barika Williams, deputy director of The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, a member group representing nonprofit affordable-housing developers.

While waiting on the final votes, de Blasio officials note that they are willing to make compromises that could include more ways to commission cheaper units.