Home News NYC Council pushes for more spending on affordable housing in Adams budget

NYC Council pushes for more spending on affordable housing in Adams budget


The New York City Council is doubling down on a push to better fund affordable housing in the city budget, a position fueled by the release of a report found construction of new affordable housing units could plummet without more investment from the Adams administration.

Councilmember Justin Brannan told Department of Housing Preservation and Development leadership at a marathon budget hearing Tuesday that he and his colleagues were “disappointed” no new money for affordable housing capital was added to the budget — despite the Council’s previous ask for further funding amid the ongoing housing crisis.

“It’s not rocket science — one obvious and big way to get started reducing homelessness, driving down rents, and helping working families thrive is to build more housing,” Brannan said in a statement.

“Our Council recognizes the deep and far-ranging impact of expanding the availability of truly affordable housing across all five boroughs. This is really a no-brainer: people need a place to live, and everything else follows.”

A report from the New York Housing Conference released Monday found cuts in the mayor’s executive budget would lead to a 32% drop in the number of affordable apartments paid for with capital subsidy — findings the Council cited in calling for additional funding but which the administration disputed.

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. said the report “got it wrong” and pushed back when asked how much more the agency’s $1.84 billion proposed budget might need to meet capital targets.

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr.(John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)

John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr.(John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)

“The resources that are needed, as we go through the process, will be available to us,” he said.

But he admitted that the 750 housing projects currently in the HPD pipeline — 300 new construction projects and 450 preservation projects — were not progressing as quickly as hoped.

“Based on the resources available, we can sort of trickle these projects out at a rate that we wish was much faster, but it’s not because we have the imposition of reality on us,” Carrión said. “We’d like to see more, faster.”

The Council wants a $732 million annual increase in funding for programs “to meet affordability needs and fulfill the mayor’s pledge of $2.5 billion in capital funding per year for affordable housing.” That adds up to an extra $3.66 billion over the next five years, which the Council says would preserve or build some 60,000 affordable units.

“If the mayor cared as much as he claims about affordable housing, your all’s budget would look a lot different than it does,” said Councilmember Lincoln Restler.

Mayor Adams has made the housing crisis a policy priority, and recently launched his signature “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” zoning plan. It comes after Albany passed its own long-awaited housing deal last month as part of the state budget deal.

Two key HPD programs the Council wants to earmark $250 million each for are Open Doors and Neighborhood Pillars. Open Doors funds construction of units affordable for middle-class ownership, while Neighborhood Pillars provides loans for nonprofits to rehab apartments to keep them permanently affordable.

Neighborhood Pillars has been stuck in limbo since 2019 but Carrión said it remains a “priority” for the agency and they hope to relaunch it by the end of the year after doing some “re-engineering.”

“I think the broader point that many of us are trying to make is that it seems that HPD’s capital budget is still insufficient to meet the demand to meet the desired production levels that we have in the city of New York,” said Pierina Sanchez, who chairs the Committee on Housing and Buildings. “We want to see the agency doing more.”

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