100% Affordable Housing Mandate for NYCHA Infill Program

Quotes:

"After the neglect of prior administrations, Mayor de Blasio and NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye must be recognized for investing to improve conditions at NYCHA," said Council Member Ben Kallos.

"100% affordable housing must be required for any new building on existing NYCHA developments. I commend the administration for putting out calls for 100% affordable projects at the first three sites in the infill program. Land is a finite resource in New York City, and we should leverage city-owned land by securing 100% affordable housing in all new building infill.

"NYCHA tenants must have a vote in the siting, design, and public benefits from any infill of their developments, as well as the right to be the first occupants of these new units."

Statement:

"After the neglect of prior administrations, Mayor de Blasio and NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye must be recognized for investing to improve conditions at NYCHA.

Under the NextGeneration NYCHA plan, land owned by NYCHA is being used for new developments -- what is being called infill development. Land is a valuable commodity, a finite resource. New York City is 309 square miles or 197,760 acres with NYCHA occupying 2,473 acres, about 1.25% and currently providing affordable housing to nearly 5% of the very low-income who live here. Once we sell that land, lease it, or give it away for market rate luxury development, it’s gone forever, and we won’t ever get it back. Given our current extreme shortage of affordable housing, we must ensure that we leverage city-owned property for the maximum possible gain, which means 100% affordable housing.

The initial Requests for Proposals for the first three sites of the infill program, in Brooklyn and the Bronx, are all for 100% affordable housing units. This is a great start to the program, and the administration should continue to develop infill with 100% affordability. Existing residents must have a vote on whether to build these new developments, a voice in their siting, design and the public benefits they provide, as well as the right to be the first occupants of these new units. These developments coupled with a strong voice for residents and the community represents a model to build housing for low-income New Yorkers that we need, provided that the same 100% affordable housing is offered in every instance."

The above statement includes excerpts from Council Member Kallos' remarks at the August 11, 2015 public hearing on the NYCHA Annual Plan, held at Pace University. Additional remarks are below.