ABO Developments - Winter 2015 - (Page 8)

Affordable Housing - A Work in Progress N earing the end of its first year, as of this writing, the de Blasio administration has yet to present a concrete plan to put in force the mayor's pledge to create 80,000 new units of affordable housing - which is understandable, if frustrating for developers, considering the multitude of issues his housing team needs to address and the number of factions it needs to appease. Vowing to surpass the previous administration in total number of affordable units created in the city, the mayor's foremost challenge is to make new projects economically feasible - to give developers adequate incentive to put shovels in the ground. The Elusive Magic Number A key aspect of the mayor's housing plan is to mandate a certain ratio of affordable 8 | A B O D E V E L O P M ENTS * www.abogny.com BY S T E V E N C U T L E R to market-rate units in new developments requiring zoning changes. But the mayor has yet to announce that ratio. The Bloomberg administration followed the 80/20 rule in negotiating new development, granting builders higher density than the zoning allows, so long as 20 percent of the units in the project were affordable. The policy produced some 50,200 new affordable units in the city from 2004 to 2013. In order to create far more affordable units than Mayor Bloomberg did in a comparable period of time, de Blasio initially stated he intended to greatly increase the percentage of affordable units required for new development to go forward with greater density - and to make it an official policy, called "mandatory inclusionary zoning." Getting the number right is essential to putting the mayor's blueprint into action. "If we get it wrong," said Alicia Glen, New York City's deputy mayor for housing and economic development, "there will be no buildings built - market or affordable." Which is why the administration has been grappling with it for nearly a year. "It's harder than they thought," observes ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies. "It was 20 percent and then they wanted 50 percent and now they're back to 20 percent, or a little more with higher income limits" - mainly because, he added, "the numbers don't work if you do much more." Complicating matters is the fact that different markets across the city offer different potential value for developers. Projects in some areas might never get off the ground with too high a percentage of affordable units required. "Mandatory inclusionary will set the floor for what a developer has to provide in order to build a building," said Glen. http://www.abogny.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Winter 2015

A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
Affordable Housing: A Work in Progress
What Price Energy? Buying It, Saving It, Making It
Benchmarking: Year Three
Index of Advertisers

ABO Developments - Winter 2015