A crowd gathers at the steps of City Hall to oppose the Mayor's approach to affordble housing.

Housing New York: The “Most Ambitious” “Affordable Housing” Plan for NYC

Housing New York is the plan the De Blasio Administration put forth to address the housing crisis in NYC, and has been touted as “the largest and most ambitious affordability plan of its kind in [the] nation’s history”. The 1st installment of the plan was announced in 2014 with the goal of building and preserving 200,000 affordable units across the 5 boroughs by 2024. A second installment announced in October of 2017 expanded the ambition by 100,000 units and 2 years. The second installment also added more “tools to the toolbox”, but like the first installment, predominantly relied on rezoning select portions of neighborhoods. The zoning changes altered the type and heights of allowable construction on a given plot of land and imposed affordability quotas on new development.

While the City has continued to defend the plan, community coalitions have coalesced in every neighborhood where a rezoning has been proposed except one. In response to community-based contention, the Mayor and offical representatives have been dismissive. The Mayor was even dismissive when a judge struck down the rezoning in Inwood on the basis of a long-time claim by community members – that the City wasn’t adequately accounting for sizeable and race- and class-based nature of the related displacement – and vowed to appeal the decision.

Claims by community members have also been supported by housing advocates and scholars. Meanwhile, the City has focused on promoting how effected the plan. In addition to reports, the City has created a multimedia StoryMap using ArcGIS that explains the changes we can expect in each neighborhood where rezoning proposals have been accepted.

This tracker completely invisibilizes the contention and critiques from residents. Below is the beginning of a project to recover and archive their efforts and perspectives.

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