Mayor Bill de Blasio is considering building affordable housing on up to 17 city-owned sites-- greenspaces where people have been allowed to establish temporary community gardens, reported the New York Times.
The de Blasio administration, which has made housing policy a priority, has said that any apartments built on temporary garden plots would be "100% affordable" and has ruled out any market-rate developments.
Officials have cited the need for affordable housing and are looking at viable gardens, as Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2000. But advocates for community gardens are pointing out that the housing built on former sites is often expensive, with some listings this year with monthly rent of between $3,200 and $4,900, according to the real estate website StreetEasy.
"We'll make those decisions in partnership with each community," said Blasio in a recent statement.
Officials are expecting some pushback from community garden advocates but said the temporary gardens had been established with the understanding that they might at some point be relinquished. They added, the administration did not intend to build on gardens that had clear local support.