News

Politico - Labor group hits the airwaves for de Blasio housing plan

As negotiations heat up over Mayor Bill de Blasio's housing proposal, a labor-backed group supporting his plan is launching a TV and digital ad campaign.
 
A 60-second spot will air for two weeks on MSNBC, CNN, NY1 and News 12, according to Neal Kwatra, the lead strategist for United for Affordable NYC, a political organization that recently formed in defense of the mayor's housing efforts.
 
The ad, produced by Metropolitan Public Strategies, features dozens of New Yorkers representing a variety of ages and ethnicities walking around different neighborhoods, as music plays in the background. It includes clips from the mayor's 2015 State of the City speech, which focused on his affordable housing plan.
 
"If we fail to be a city for everyone, we risk losing what makes New York New York," the mayor says from a podium, as the screen jumps from a young black woman crossing a busy street to an elderly white couple holding hands while walking down a different city block.
 
"We risk losing the very soul of this place if it isn't a place for every kind of person," he continues as the music intensifies. "If you can afford to live here, then everything else becomes possible."
 
He goes on to delineate his goal of building 80,000 new below-market-rate apartments and preserving 120,000 more by 2024 — 10 years after de Blasio took office. (The low- and middle-income units would be accompanied by another 160,000 market-rate apartments under the mayor's housing plan.)
 
"We are not embarking on a mission to build towering skyscrapers where they don't belong," the mayor says. "We have a duty to protect and preserve the culture and character of our neighborhoods and we will do so."
 
It ends with a shot of the skyline.
 
The ad will be partnered with a "very surgically targeted digital effort focused on voters in the communities most impacted by the plan," Kwatra said.
 
He would not disclose the exact cost of the TV buy, but described it as a "robust, five-figure buy."
 
The digital campaign will be targeted to civic-minded New Yorkers who are active in their communities and routinely vote in elections. It will use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, said Kwatra.
 
The City Council is expected to vote on the two-tiered housing plans sometime this month.
 
The 51-member legislative body has a say over two significant pieces of the mayor's broader housing agenda — Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, which requires a share of apartments created through a city-approved rezoning be dedicated to affordable housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability, which rewrites the decades-old zoning text to enable more construction.
 
The plans were met with widespread opposition among community boards and borough presidents last year, and the Council has raised a number of concerns.
 
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has said the plan will be amended before the Council votes, but it is likely both will pass by the end of this month.
 
She and her team, including land use director Raju Mann, are negotiating the details with de Blasio's housing and planning commissioners.
 
Meanwhile the mayor has been delivering speeches throughout the city, with a recent emphasis on senior centers to promote the plan's adherence to the need for more senior housing.

Sharpton announces support for NYC mayor rezoning plan

The Rev. Al Sharpton is supporting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's much-debated rezoning plan. The rezoning effort is a key component of the mayor's ambitious affordable housing plan...

Why our housing plan must pass: Mayor de Blasio urges the City Council and advocates to get behind his zoning reforms

What kind of city are we going to be 10 or 20 years from now? Can we be both a city that’s thriving, and one that working families can still afford to call home? Today, we’re at a turning point, and we face decisions that will shape our city for a generation...

NYDN - Many people over age 50 want out of N.Y. to save money

What a drag it is getting old in New York. A new survey of New Yorkers over 50 found 43% of them have at least considered moving to cut down on expenses — and 7% have actually uprooted to save money...

Bill de Blasio the builder nails it on affordable housing

After a little rejiggering, one of Mayor de Blasio’s grandest policy reforms is on the cusp of sailing through the City Council. Applaud the mayor’s groundbreaking affordable housing bargain for the city’s rent-poor tenants, a boon for taxpayers too, assuming it works as designed...

NYDN Op-Ed: Small fears vs. Bill’s big plans

...So it’s a huge credit to Mayor de Blasio that he’s spoken forcefully about the need to build up, as the only way out of the city’s affordability trap. And been clear that doing so will sometimes mean changing the character of neighborhoods, which are finally made up of the people as much as the buildings...

NYDN - EXCLUSIVE: Retail union backs Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing plan

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is backing Mayor de Blasio’s plan to build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments. Union president Stuart Appelbaum told the Daily News he’s getting on board because in addition to the need for lower-rent homes, de Blasio has begun to highlight his desire to bring stores that meet high labor standards into the new developments...

NY Observer - Paul Krugman Endorses de Blasio Affordable Housing Plan

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman spoke in favor of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial affordable housing plan at an event starring the two prominent liberals tonight...

NY1 - NY1 Online: Supporters Weigh In on Mayor's Proposed Changes to Zoning Code

NY1 VIDEO: Grace Rauh discussed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial proposed changes to the zoning code with three supporters of the mayor’s plan: City Council member Margaret Chin, Colvin Grannum of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Crains - With demand outstripping supply, we need the mayor's rezoning

For more than a decade, the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce has been calling for an all-inclusive affordable housing plan for New York City. Now we have one, as proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, and we need to get it passed—in its entirety ("Mayor, council weigh two solutions to housing-plan impasse")...

Politico - Ahead of Council vote, mayor’s allies organize in defense of housing agenda

As Mayor Bill de Blasio's controversial housing plans come before the City Council this week, his union allies are joining forces with the AARP and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to form an organization that will push for the mayor's proposals...

NY Slant - Opinion - de Blasio housing policy could begin a path of upward mobility

...That is why I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for proposing a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing initiative that will promote economic equity for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers through economic integration. Housing integration is among the most sensitive issues facing our nation and city, but it holds the key to unlocking equity and reversing discrimination. MIH is one effective tool for advancing both of these objectives...

Crain's New York - Op-Ed - Be not afraid: de Blasio's zoning plan makes sense

For months, communities and politicians have debated the merits of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed zoning changes. Opponents believe that density, development and changes to certain zoning requirements will increase displacement of working-class New Yorkers and make the city less affordable...

The Real Deal - De Blasio wins business groups’ support for zoning plan

The Real Estate Board of New York and the Partnership for New York City, two powerful business groups, are throwing their weight behind the de Blasio administration’s citywide zoning plan...

Crain's New York - Three unions throw support behind mayor's rezoning plans

A trio of major New York City unions are backing Mayor Bill de Blasio's embattled affordable housing plan. The leadership of the 1199 SEIU health care workers union, the United Federation of Teachers and the DC 37 municipal workers union backed the plan Wednesday. Their support comes the day of a hearing on the proposal at the City Planning Commission...

New York Daily News - Bill de Blasio’s housing plan gets support from Manhattan borough president

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said Friday she’s backing the cornerstone of Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan.  But Brewer said she is not on board with a separate push for zoning changes the mayor claims is necessary to go along with the plan...

Crain's New York - How the de Blasio administration spurred record affordable-housing gains

...First, the administration moved quickly to fund one of the two governmental engines driving much of the affordable-housing push. The capital budget of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development got a 165% hike, to $6.8 billion. “The mayor put his money where his mouth is,” said Martin Dunn, whose Dunn Development Corp. builds affordable housing...

WNYC - In First Town Hall, de Blasio Works to Sell His Housing Plan

After 20 months in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio held his first town hall meeting on Wednesday night, and he focused it on the topic of tenant protections. He chose a high school gymnasium in Washington Heights, a neighborhood with more than 53,000 rent stabilized apartments…

New York Times Editorial - Mayor de Blasio’s Plan for Affordable Housing

Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled another part of his ambitious plan to save New York City — a proposal to use land-use regulations to spur the creation of large amounts of permanently affordable housing...

Wall Street Journal - De Blasio Unveils Affordable-Housing Plan

During his 2013 mayoral campaign, Bill de Blasio vowed to require developers who benefit from future city zoning changes to include large numbers of affordable apartments in their projects. Nineteen months later, he has unveiled a plan to make that happen...

Gotham Gazette - The Resiliency of De Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan

On Monday, May 5, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his plan to yield 200,000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years. The plan, which is projected to cost $41 billion, will preserve 120,000 units and build 80,000 new units. The City expects to invest just $8.2 billion over the 10 years. Housing built during de Blasio's 10-year timeframe aims to provide rent relief to today's New York City residents, but the buildings will be there long after de Blasio is mayor . . .

ABC 7 New York - De Blasio Unveils Affordable Housing Plan for New York City

Mayor Bill de Blasio is launching his plan to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing in New York City over the next decade. The roughly $41 billion program was unveiled Monday. It anticipates spending about $8.2 billion in city money. State, federal and private funds would cover the rest. The city will not be building its own structures but will work with private and nonprofit developers . . .

NBC - Mayor de Blasio Unveils Affordable Housing Plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his ambitious $41 billion housing plan Monday, promising to embrace density, push developers to include homes for poorer residents and commit city funds to create enough housing over the next decade to house half a million people...