New York mayor to unveil affordable housing plan today

Bill De Blasio campaigned on helping poor and middle-class New Yorkers, and housing costs are key.
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press
Bill De Blasio campaigned on helping poor and middle-class New Yorkers, and housing costs are key.

NEW YORK — With housing costs rising out of reach for many in the nation’s biggest city, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce plans Monday to build or preserve 200,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.

De Blasio campaigned last year on helping middle-class and poor New Yorkers, and housing costs have crystallized the squeeze they face.

In a city where renters make up two-thirds of the roughly 3 million households, median rent rose 11 percent from 2005 to 2012, to $1,216 a month, while renters’ median household income rose only about 2 percent, to $41,000, according to New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.


More than 1 million city households now spend 30 percent or more of their income on rent and utilities, passing the threshold of what housing officials generally consider affordable; nearly 600,000 pay 50 percent or more.

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De Blasio often emphasized his affordable housing goal during his campaign, and four months into his mayoralty, residents are looking to the Democrat to deliver.

A New York Times/NY1/Siena College Poll released April 7 found 52 percent of New Yorkers disapproved of how he was addressing affordable housing availability, while 35 percent approved. The poll surveyed 1,190 city residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

With shovel in hand, de Blasio appeared that same day at a groundbreaking for a privately built, nearly 800-apartment Brooklyn affordable housing development that ‘‘exemplifies so much of what we believe in,’’ he said.

Associated Press