How Does Housing New York Measure Up To New Yorkers’ Needs?
In July, the de Blasio administration released its annual report on progress made towards the target numbers of affordable units created and preserved as laid out in the Housing New York Plan. Tomorrow, the City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings will hold an HPD oversight hearing which look at the tools the City uses to create and preserve affordable housing.
But fundamentally, we need to ask: is the Housing New York Plan designed to meet the housing needs of New York City?
One good indicator of housing need is the number of households at various income levels that are rent-burdened (paying more that 30% of their income towards rent). ANHD’s infographic (below) illustrates how the housing built and preserved thus far by the de Blasio Administration measures up against what rent burdening data tells us about New Yorkers’ housing needs.
The comparison is striking. When rent burden is used as a lens, the extremely low-income range is severely under-served by the affordable units created and preserved thus far under Housing New York, while the $52,000 to $69,000 range and those at higher incomes are significantly over-represented.
Ultimately, even if the City continues to meet the goals of Housing New York, it is unlikely to meet the goal of reducing the affordability crisis in New York City. And that ought to be the actual measure of success. It’s time to rethink not just one particular program, but overall strategies and priorities starting from a baseline not of numbers of units, but of meeting New Yorkers’ needs.