The liberal mayor's proposal, requiring a $41 billion investment
to build 80,000 units and preserve 120,000 more, would provide
enough housing for more than half a million New Yorkers.
It calls for the city to target vacant and underused land,
streamline new development opportunities and accelerate affordable
construction. Proposed funding for the plan calls for about $8
billion from the city, $3 billion in state and federal expenditures
and another $30 billion in private money.
"We have a crisis of affordability on our hands. It touches everyone
from the bottom of the economic ladder, all the way up to the middle
class," de Blasio said. "And so we are marshaling every corner of
government and the private sector in an unprecedented response."
De Blasio, who took office in January as the city's first Democratic
mayor in two decades, campaigned for office decrying the "tale of
two cities" that has emerged as New York is torn by a yawning gap
between rich and poor.
A report released last month by New York City Comptroller Scott
Stringer found that almost half of all New Yorkers spend more than
30 percent of their income on housing, while a third spend at least
half on housing.
From 2000 to 2012, the median rental price in New York City rose by
75 percent, compared to 44 percent in the rest of the country, while
the real incomes of New Yorkers declined, the report said.
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In some neighborhoods, such as trendy Williamsburg, Greenpoint and
Fort Greene in Brooklyn, which saw an influx of young professionals
priced out of Manhattan, average real rents increased by 50 percent
or more, the report said.
Meanwhile, the city's shelter population stands at more than 52,000,
including more than 22,000 children - a historic high.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun
Donovan applauded de Blasio's "ambitious" plan, according to a
statement circulated by de Blasio.
Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, an
industry group, called the plan a "realistic roadmap."
(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Tom Brown)
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