ABO Developments - Winter 2015 - (Page 8)
Affordable Housing -
A Work in Progress
earing the end of its
first year, as of this
writing, the de Blasio
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
A key aspect of the mayor's housing plan
is to mandate a certain ratio of affordable
| 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.
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