New York City has set a new record for the amount of affordable housing secured in 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday.
The city financed more than 24,500 affordable homes last year, with 48 percent of those homes priced at a level for those who make less than $33,400 per year, or $43,000 for a family of three.
That yearly total breaks an all-time record, according to de Blasio, that was previously set by former Mayor Ed Koch. In 1989, under Koch, the city financed just over 23,100 affordable homes, according to the Associated Press.
“Housing is the number one expense in New Yorkers’ lives,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re bringing that expense down by putting shovels in the ground, and putting keys in tenants’ hands. There is more help than ever to fight eviction, freeze your rent or find an affordable home – and we want New Yorkers to reach it.”
Last year’s efforts equate to the city having preserved more than 17,300 affordable apartments and financed more than 7,100 new homes — a direct city investment, according to the mayor, of $1.1 billion.
Over the past four years, New York City has financed more than 87,500 affordable apartments.
“Not only did we generate the most affordable housing in a single calendar year — a full half of those homes will serve extremely and very low-income New Yorkers,” said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer in a statement.
“The city’s unprecedented investment created opportunities for seniors, homeless residents, and first-time homeowners, as well as M/WBE [minority and women-owned business enterprise] firms across the five boroughs,” she added.
The mayor has made affordable housing a focus of his administration from the start, having launched in 2014 a $41 billion affordable housing plan aimed at creating and preserving 200,000 affordable housing units within a decade.
The mayor’s Public Engagement Unit has also called and knocked on the doors of more than 280,000 New Yorkers to spread the word about their rights and how to get repairs, legal services and rental assistance enrollment.
The city is continuing to increase this outreach with the launch Tuesday of a new web portal at nyc.gov/LongLiveNY, which will help tenants find resources on finding affordable units, fighting eviction and freezing their rent.