Housing 2.0: ‘The Power of Advocacy’

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan has been revamped, with the goal being to add and preserve 300,000 affordable units by 2026, rather than the original goal of 200,000 units by 2024. A review of the plan, called Housing 2.0, suggests that the administration has taken into account some of the critiques of the first plan, writes Abigail Savitch-Lew in City Limits.

There’s been a push by advocates to build more affordable housing on both public and privately-owned vacant properties. While in the past the administration has countered that it’s already ramping up its development pipeline for public land and that it cannot control what private owners do with vacant property, Housing New York 2.0 includes some new initiatives on this front. It’s launching “Housing+”,a program that will entail building new below-market rate housing on underused parking lots next to older affordable housing developments such as Mitchell-Lamas. The administration is also committing to building more senior housing on NYCHA land, and says it will start encouraging the construction of “tiny homes” on very small city-owned land parcels. (It’s not clear from the report, though, how large each of these three initiatives will be.) Most startlingly, the administration says that as part of its property tax reform efforts, it will explore a new way to tax privately-owned vacant land to incentivize development.

The new plan also recognizes that displacement and speculation are playing a role in the changing market for rental housing, writes Savitch-Lew, and it also pays greater attention to enhancing home ownership through some new proposals. Overall, she concludes, “the document is a testament to the power of advocacy in shaping the conversation.”

But what about the role the city’s rezoning plans and policies play? Go to City Limits to find out what city officials have to say about rezoning’s role in the housing outlook.

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