Next week, the current administration will change the rules of the game to guarantee that low-income families will have access to affordable housing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to create 80,000 housing units of this type and preserve the existing 120,000 has undergone an intense process of negotiation at every level, aimed at convincing all parties that the proposed road map is the right one to follow.
The packet the Council is set to approve will change the city’s zoning ‒ which has been in place for 45 years ‒ and will activate the mandate to build apartments to be rented below market prices.
In a city as expensive as New York, it is more than urgent to guarantee that each new building will offer prices that are within reach for working class residents, especially when it is known that many people spend more than 50% of their income in paying rent.
Under the new guidelines, 20% of all housing must be reserved for three-person households whose income is 40% of the Area Median Income, that is $31,000 per year.
The Mayor’s disposition to incorporate certain changes to his plan in order to reach maximum affordability is noteworthy.
Still, there is much yet to be done to achieve real equilibrium between the income of New Yorkers and the exorbitant sums of money they pay for rent, both at residential and commercial levels.
More and more families have to live in overcrowded circumstances and a growing number of businesses are forced to close because they are unable to pay rent.
We support the position of the Real Affordability for All campaign to apply pressure and raise our voices in favor or real affordability and better jobs for low-income New Yorkers.
This is a step forward, but we hope to see many more in the future.