Affordable Housing

The Mayor’s visionary plan must put people first

Vista de una zona de Inwood, Manhattan.
Vista de una zona de Inwood, Manhattan.
Foto: Mariela Lombard / El Diario


From a general perspective, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year affordable housing initiative looks like a positive thing. Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a guarantee that they will be able to find an affordable place to live.

In order to achieve this, the City is considering changes in the existing regulations. However, in view of the hearings conducted at community boards, the rezoning plans do not seem to be getting much support.

The areas being considered for rezoning are East New York, East Harlem, Long Island City, the Jerome Avenue corridor in The Bronx, east Flushing and the Bay Street corridor in Staten Island.

Just this week, both Brooklyn and Manhattan turned their backs on the Mayor’s proposal that seeks to reform the law for zoning for quality and affordability, and the law of mandatory inclusionary housing.

The message the community boards are sending deserves to be heard by City Hall and the City Council. Although subsidies will be included, there is concern about the income a family will have to earn in order to have access to affordable housing.

There is also some resistance regarding the fact that buildings with between 10 and 25 units will not be required to offer affordable apartments.

It is necessary to find a balance that will allow us to continue to consider New York a city within everyone’s reach. Working families use over a third of their income just to pay the rent.

Everyone knows that housing units throughout the city are generally crammed. More and more, people are trying to bring down the cost of their expensive rent by living like sardines in a tin.

The Mayor’s visionary plan to create 80,000 affordable housing units and preserving the 120,000 existing ones must put people first, not urban developers who only think about their profits.

We hope that by the time the project reaches the City Council table the People’s voice will have been heard.