Building a city we can all afford
Wherever I go, I meet folks who are doing everything right — working hard, making a decent salary and trying to build a better life. In the New York I moved to 40 years ago, that was enough to feel economically secure.
The city had a lot of problems back then, but finding an affordable place to live wasn’t one of them.
It would have been hard to imagine a city where more than half of our people spend more on rent than they can afford, where entire neighborhoods slip out of reach of working families, where even people we once considered solidly middle class ask themselves: Can we still afford to live here?
Well, let me be clear: It’s New York that can’t afford to lose people like you.
This has to be a place where seniors, veterans, working families and the middle class can all afford to live. Otherwise, it’s not New York anymore.
We’ve spent the past four years trying to stop the loss of affordable homes, and trying to make up ground we’ve lost since the recession.
Today, I’m laying out a new road map to massively accelerate that work.
We are thinking big, because this crisis runs deep.
When I first took office in 2014, we saw the threat to our city mounting, and we took it on with the biggest housing plan in our history. Our goal: build or preserve 200,000 affordable apartments over 10 years.
We’re ahead of schedule, with work underway to build and protect 78,000 homes — enough for the entire population of Salt Lake City — and far more coming by year’s end. The number of homes on the city’s housing lotteries has doubled since we took office.
For the first time ever, annual rent increases for 2 million New Yorkers living in rent-regulated homes were frozen two years running. We’ve lost the smallest number of rent-regulated apartments to rising rents since 2000. Tenants now have access to free legal services to fight harassment and eviction.
Build more. Protect That’s been our mantra.
But instead of staying on that trajectory, we’re setting even bigger goals and investing more resources — because the soul of our city is at stake here. more.
We’re dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars more each year, $1.3 billion a year total, to beat back this crisis and keep even more New Yorkers secure in their homes.
We will double our commitment to senior housing — 30,000 homes in all — building more apartments and making upgrades to existing ones so more New Yorkers can grow old in the homes they love.
We will help put nonprofit landlords in charge of more buildings in gentrifying neighborhoods, protecting 1,000 longtime tenants each year.
We will protect 15,000 tenants at our remaining Mitchell-Lama buildings that anchor our middle class.
We will help hundreds New Yorkers of moderate means buy their first home, so they can own a piece of their neighborhoods — something they can pass on to their kids. We’ll help more than a thousand low-income homeowners stay in their homes by making badly needed repairs.
All this means we can complete our initial goal of 200,000 affordable homes two years ahead of schedule and preserve or build an additional 100,000 homes in the four years that follow.
That sets us on a path to 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026, enough housing for the entire population of Boston.
These aren’t just numbers. They’re families who live on the brink today — people facing the prospect of leaving this city, of cutting back even more on the essentials, of having to move and send their kids to a different school.
For a long time, the answers and the help weren’t there for families who needed it. That’s changing.
If you are looking for an affordable apartment, we’re building thousands more every year, and the pace keeps accelerating.
If you’re facing harassment or eviction, free legal help is a phone call to 311 away. The city is on your side.
If you love your apartment, but are worried your rent will go up, the city is bringing more tools than ever to bear to hold your rent down.
This is how we will keep New York, New York.