Real Estate

New York City's De Blasio to spend $41B for cheaper housing

Bill de Blasio
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New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled a 10-year plan—that will cost $41 billion—add 200,000 apartments to one of the most expensive and crowded housing markets in America.

The plan aims to create enough housing to serve more than half a million New Yorkers. About 40 percent of the units will be newly built, while the remaining 60 percent will be "preserved"—which can mean anything from repairing and renovating existing affordable housing to protecting tenants from rising rents or eviction.

It will also double the budget of the city's Housing Preservation and Development agency, and will be funded through taxes, loans and money from private investors.

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More than three quarters of these units will go toward households considered "low income" or poorer. About the 22 percent of the remaining apartments will go to moderate and middle-income New Yorkers, (which includes families of four making anywhere from $68,000 to nearly 140,000 annually).

More than half of all New Yorkers pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, and about 35 percent of the city's poorest—those who make less than about $42,000 a year—pay more than half of their income, according to figures cited in the plan.

The complex plan will not just involve construction. The other initiatives include securing affordable housing in neighborhoods at risk of rising rents, providing tax incentives for building owners and subsidizing energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings.