An influential coalition of tenant groups, anti-poverty advocates and unions is poised to begin a campaign today calling for more homes for the city’s poorest residents, writes the Wall Street Journal.
The group is calling themselves Real Affordability for All, and its plan to rally on the steps of City Hall calling for more affordable housing could create conflict for Mayor Bill de Blasio, as he prepares to roll out a plan of his own.
The reasons there’s a conflict is because De Blasio’s plan– building or preserving 200,000 units of low-cost housing– requires subsidies from the city that offset the cost for developers to offer a certain number of affordable units.
But the coalition is challenging the index that determines low income– about $40,000 to $57,000 a year for a family of four or when the housing is equal to 30 percent of their income– saying there’s very little being made available for the 620,000 households making less than 30 percent of the area median income, or about $25,000 a year for a family of four
Additionally, they pointed out, it’s about more than a market set-aside of housing stock for a segment the city deems is “low-income,” it’s about making housing more affordable for lower-income residents, period.
“One of the things that we’ve been pushing the administration on is that this isn’t a drive toward a number, this is a drive toward affordability,” said Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change, a coalition member.