Analysis Finds Mayor on Pace to Meet Housing Target

According to analysis by the New York Building Congress (NYBC), despite the expiration of the 421a tax incentive program and community resistance to portions of the mayor’s rezoning plan, New York City is roughly on pace to meet de Blasio’s 10-year target for the construction of new low-income units throughout the five boroughs.

Reviewing city housing data, NYBC found that New York City produced a total of 25,342 new low-income housing units across the five boroughs from January 2014 through June 2017. That represents approximately 32 percent of the mayor’s construction target of 80,000 new low-income units over the course of a decade. The new construction target was first announced as part of the mayor’s Housing New York Plan released in 2014.

The Housing New York Plan calls for the creation or preservation of 200,000 units of low-income housing over a 10-year period, with 40 percent of that total being new construction. Of the 77,651 low-income units financed to date, 33 percent are comprised of new construction starts while the remaining two-thirds represent existing units where the city has preserved and/or extended their affordability.

Approximately 39 percent of new low-income construction starts occurred in the Bronx over the entire three-and-a-half-year period, followed by Brooklyn with 29 percent and Manhattan with 19 percent. Approximately 11 percent of the total new low-income construction starts occurred in Queens, while Staten Island accounted for 2 percent.

Low-income housing accounted for 21 percent of all units authorized for construction across the five boroughs from January 2014 through March of this year. During this period, 87 percent of the newly constructed low-income units were reserved for low-income households earning 80 percent or less of the area median income (AMI). Approximately 16 percent of the low-income units constructed are reserved for households with extremely low incomes (0-30 percent of AMI), while 11 percent are earmarked for households with very low incomes (31-50 percent of AMI).

According to the mayor’s office, 7,705 new apartments and 16,588 preserved homes were financed in Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) due to a direct investment of $1 billion by the City of New York, which in turn leveraged more than $1.3 billion in Housing Development Corporation Bonds. That brought total direct city investment under the Housing New York Plan to $2.8 billion and total bond financing to $5.5 billion.