New Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit will be dedicated to responding to tenant complaints of harassment in buildings across the city
New York – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor de Blasio today announced that his administration financed 32,116 affordable homes last year, breaking the all-time record previously set by former Mayor Ed Koch in 1989 of 25,243 units. The City also broke the record for the most new construction with 9,140 affordable homes; almost 60 percent of all homes financed will serve New Yorkers making less than $47,000 for a family of three. Additionally, the Mayor announced the formation of the Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit that will be dedicated to pursuing potential cases of maintenance harassment in multi-family residential buildings and connecting tenants to legal services resources, a complement to the City’s efforts against construction as harassment.
“This Administration has used every tool available to fight the affordability crisis in New York City. It is paying off – we have created more affordable housing than any other time in our City’s history,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will not grow complacent. My Administration is forging ahead with new tools like the Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit to help investigate harassment and hold bad landlords accountable. We have the backs of tenants as we continue to ensure that New York City is the fairest city in America.”
“We have established a blueprint for building, for preservation – for overall affordability. We’re keeping people in their houses, never giving up a square foot of affordable housing, and increasing the supply of new homes. As neighborhoods grow and change, our work ensures that affordable housing will always be a part of our city,” said Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development.
To celebrate this historic milestone, the Mayor handed Destiny Armstead the keys to her new home at 1561 Walton, a new 60-unit building near the Jerome Avenue area in the Bronx, one of several neighborhoods that was recently rezoned to apply the City’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy. The Mayor was joined by Council Members Fernando Cabrera, Vanessa Gibson, and Ydanis Rodriguez, who have been working closely with the administration to develop comprehensive plans for their communities. Developed by non-profit Settlement Housing Fund, 1561 Walton was part of a major wave of construction financed early in the de Blasio administration that has now rented up. Built on City-owned land and a former parking lot, the project is adjacent to New Settlement Apartments, a signature Koch-era portfolio with 900 homes in 14 buildings that was recently preserved by HPD. Renovations, including the installation of solar panels that will help ensure the long-term affordability and sustainability of the building, were recently completed. Settlement Housing Fund also financed the renovation of the beautiful children’s playground across the street.
“Making good on the promises of Housing New York, we set an all-time record for affordable housing production in New York City,” said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “With 32,116 affordable homes, 2018 also marks the most new construction in history. A full 57 percent of those homes will serve some of the city’s lowest income families. By advancing developments on large public sites, implementing policies to require more affordable housing on private sites, pushing to secure the affordability of large Mitchell-Lamas, and seeing new programs to reach small buildings take hold, among other initiatives, we surpassed the new baseline established in HNY 2.0. Our work is far from done. That is why today we also launch a new Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit at HPD to expand our efforts to combat harassment and displacement. All of these results are a testament to our partners and the devoted HPD and HDC teams. I want to thank them and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for their vision and ongoing commitment to a building a fairer, more affordable city.”
“HDC is proud to have contributed more than $1.6 billion in bond financing towards this year’s historic housing production, and more than $7.1 billion since the start of Housing New York,” said New York City Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “Our success under the housing plan has been made possible thanks to the exceptional efforts of our City-wide team and valued public and private partners who have worked around the clock to ensure our limited affordable housing resources are deployed with the greatest impact. The affordable housing the City has created and preserved to date will provide greater opportunity to some of our most vulnerable households as well as our more moderate income New Yorkers, reflecting our commitment to ensure New York is a city for everyone.”
“Like so many New Yorkers, finding affordable housing remains a primary concern for older adults living on limited incomes. Preserving affordable housing helps more seniors remain in the communities where they raised their families and have a network of formal and informal supports, which are essential for them to age in place,” said Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado.
“As we plan for the future of New York City, it is vital that we remain a city for all. Through Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and other programs, we are creating unprecedented levels of affordable housing for today and tomorrow’s New Yorkers,” said Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago.
“This Administration has proudly fought to make New York City a more equitable place to live,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “This is a historic milestone and we’re proud to have worked side by side with our sister agencies to help raise the floor for New Yorkers across the five boroughs.”
The cornerstone of the Mayor’s housing plan continues to be the preservation of affordability in existing buildings, many of which are in need of physical and financial assistance or face expiring protections. Last year, the City used a wide array of programs and tools to extend affordability and finance needed improvements in 22,976 homes. This preservation work is key to keeping people in their homes and neighborhoods, and accompanies a robust set of strategies to combat displacement, including a new citywide Certification of No Harassment Program, a Speculation Watch List, and now a new HPD Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit.
The newly established Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit will have ten dedicated staff, including two attorneys to initiate litigation against unscrupulous owners and landlords. The new Unit will use data analysis to identify potential buildings and portfolios where harassment is occurring; respond to emergency complaints; partner closely with the Department of Buildings and other agencies to address issues in buildings where maintenance as harassment has been identified; and connect tenants with legal services resources.
The new Unit will enable HPD to increase the number of buildings with potential construction or maintenance harassment that HPD can inspect from 200 buildings annually to approximately 1,500 buildings. HPD will also seek civil penalties for harassment where warranted.
The record-breaking progress of the last fiscal year brings the total number of homes financed under HNY to date to 109,767, exceeding the original goal established in Housing New York, and the new target set last year in Housing New York 2.0. Through HNY 2.0, the Mayor committed to accelerate and expand the pace of Housing New York to achieve 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026 – 100,000 more than initially planned. Already the City had ramped up to produce more than 20,000 affordable homes a year, and now, has achieved a new baseline of 25,000 affordable apartments a year, ahead of schedule.
The total direct City investment under the Mayor’s housing plan last year was $1.582 billion, and the total bond financing issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) was over $1.6 billion in bonds. To date, the City has spent $4.375 billion in City subsidy, which includes City capital, HDC Corporate Reserves, and Reso-A. In total, HDC issued bonds worth more than $7.1 billion since the start of the plan.
Affordable housing numbers are available here.
The plan continues to live up to its initial promises:
Rezoning Areas / City Owned Land: Made progress on large public sites in rezoning and urban renewal areas like Coney Island, East New York, Far Rockaway, and Downtown Jamaica, financing 1,390 new homes. These are some of the 2,513 newly constructed units financed on public land last year; bringing the total under HNY to 8,844 homes.
421a: Produced 760 affordable apartments across 64 projects through 421a with no additional City funding. This doubles the number of stand-alone units created, most of which are in high-cost neighborhoods.
Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH): Doubled the production created through MIH to 805 permanently affordable homes. The City is tracking 8,500 MIH units through rezoning applications; including 4,900 MIH apartments in 51 projects approved by Council that have not yet closed.
Seniors: Launched Aging in Place, part of our new Seniors First program, and closed the first project to ensure seniors in preservation projects get the improvements they need to stay in their apartments and age in place. Last year saw the most senior housing with 1,888 apartments; bringing the total number of senior homes produced under HNY to 6,507.
Homeownership: Financed the first Open Door homeownership project that will create 56 new affordable coops. This is among the 7,203 affordable homeownership opportunities created or preserved last year for a total of 18,147 under the plan.
Mitchell-Lamas: Secured the continued affordability of 13,137 coops and apartments in Mitchell-Lama developments, including Masyrk Towers, Ruppert House, Franklin Plaza Apartments, and Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized development in the nation. This brings the total of Mitchell-Lama homes and apartments preserved under HNY to 29,356.
Landlord Ambassador Program: Closed the first three projects with 100 units through the new Landlord Ambassador Program, created with community-based non-profits to help small building owners stabilize and upgrade their properties and ensure future affordability.
Green Housing Preservation Program: Financed much needed energy efficiency improvements to shore up the affordability of 1,262 apartments, representing a 760% increase in the program’s production from last year.
M/WBE Build Up: Program spurred 61 projects with 10,155 apartments to set and meet M/WBE participation goals that are expected to generate over $275 million in spending. To date, 81 projects have been required to participate in the program for a combined expected spending amount of $344 million.
Housing Connect: HPD and HDC marketed 16,279 HNY affordable apartments through Housing Connect, connecting 41,000 New Yorkers to a new home. In total, HPD and HDC marketed 7,834 apartments last year, a 700% increase compared to 2014, and updated its guidelines to speed up the delivery of affordable housing and ensure those homes serve the New Yorkers who need them most.
Homeless and Supportive Housing: The agencies revamped virtually all of their development programs to include homeless set-asides, and as a result financed 2,318 affordable homes for the homeless last year, bringing the total to 8,948 under the plan. In part, this includes the 1,145 supportive housing apartments financed last year, including 500 congregate apartments towards the Mayor’s commitment through New York 15/15 to create 15,000 supportive homes in 15 years. In total, the City has financed 4,094 supportive housing apartments.
To learn more about how New Yorkers can apply for affordable housing, fight eviction, and freeze their rent, visit the City’s new housing web portal at nyc.gov/housing.
“Today’s announcement of record breaking affordable housing is a significant win for low-income New Yorkers,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Accessibility to affordable housing in New York City is the key to a fair and thriving City. I also commend the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for the implementation of the tenant anti-harassment unit, which will be critical in rooting out unjust landlord practices, and allow families to live in peace.”
“Access to affordable housing continues to be a challenge for the residents of the Bronx and the rest of New York City. Today’s announcement of record breaking affordable housing production will bring relief to thousands of New Yorkers. Thanks to Mayor de Blasio and his administration, New York City is closer to meeting the goal of building or preserving 300,000 much needed affordable housing units by 2026,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.
“Access to affordable housing is a basic human right. At a time when President Trump has issued ceaseless attacks on New York’s working families, I am proud to have helped secure federal funding for affordable housing,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “I commend the Mayor for his hard work in meeting today’s historic milestone and I look forward to continued work across levels of government to make housing accessible for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”
“Affordable housing is a critical asset to our community and the nation,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “It remains critical that we continue our efforts to ensure safe, decent, and affordable housing is accessible for all New York City residents and families.”
“Tenant harassment is 100% illegal, but for years it’s been obvious that we need to find new models to prevent and prosecute it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “This HPD enforcement unit could be that model, and I look forward to seeing how it helps in the fight to protect tenants and preserve affordable housing. I thank the Administration for its continued focus on tenants and affordable housing.”
“Housing is fundamental to our daily lives, and every person deserves an equal opportunity to have safe, quality and affordable housing,” said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Committee on Housing. “Turning this hope into reality requires ambitious partners. I’m pleased that the Mayor’s office and City agencies have been working with us to advance this vision and provide so many New Yorkers with a foundation on which to build a solid, hopeful future.”
“Preserving affordable housing options for New Yorkers feeling the crunch of an increased cost of living is essential to maintaining the quality and character of the many neighborhoods that make up this diverse city. I commend Commissioner Torres-Springer and Mayor de Blasio for their commitment to preserving affordable units and for allocating the resources necessary to make sure more New Yorkers than ever can afford to stay in their homes,” saidCouncil Member Robert Cornegy, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings.
“Affordable housing is one of the most critical issues in my district. More than 70% of the constituents who come to my district office are there for help because they need safe, decent and affordable housing. Preservation of existing affordable units and creation of new affordable units is absolutely necessary in order to meet the overwhelming housing need in New York City,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. “The Housing New York 2.0 goal of 300,000 units built and preserved by 2026 is very ambitious. But I’m proud that we made great progress in 2018 with the creation and preservation of the most affordable units in the history of New York City, including 1561 Walton Avenue.”
“I’m thrilled to join the Mayor to announce this year’s unprecedented levels of affordable housing creation and preservation. This work is critical to keeping our neighborhoods vibrant and strong. I worked hard to achieve a balanced Jerome Avenue neighborhood plan with my community, the administration, and colleague Council Member Cabrera so that we could ensure the creation of permanently affordable housing in our neighborhood for generations to come. And with tools like certificate of no harassment, access to counsel, and now the new anti-tenant harassment unit, we can protect and preserve the housing we have,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
“As our population continues to grow, so must our affordable housing stock. The tens of thousands of affordable housing units that will be created by this administration are sure to have a lasting impact on the working families of New York City,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “I look forward to continue working with Mayor de Blasio and his administration on creating affordable housing for the residents of my district as well as expanding anti-harassment efforts for tenants citywide.”
“The City is in dire need of more affordable housing and today’s announcement that we’re on track to hit 300,000 new and preserved homes by 2026 is a reassuring sign that low-income New Yorkers can still live here despite rising costs,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “Since I became Council Member, I’ve voted to approve 4,500 affordable units in my district, and will continue to fight for more and encourage my colleagues around all boroughs to do the same.”
“It is more important than ever to expand on the city’s tools to protect tenants as bad landlords constantly try to displace tenants in order to raise rents. This new unit is a step in the right direction that can ensure tenants are able to stay in their home and are protected from harassment and displacement,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.
“At a time when we are facing a severe housing crisis in the City of New York, it is more important than ever that we double down on our efforts to create and preserve affordable housing” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “I applaud HPD for working to not only meet, but exceed their goals for 2018. I am proud to have contributed to these historic numbers through the preservation of a project-based Section 8 project in my district, La Cabana. I look forward to working with HPD in the coming year to explore further opportunities for the preservation and creation of affordable housing in my district.”
“Addressing the citywide housing crisis requires a sustained, long-term commitment to create and preserve affordable housing, engage in proactive outreach to help families in danger of eviction stay in their homes, and ensure that every resident feels safe and secure at home. As we celebrate a new milestone in the City’s efforts to achieve these goals, I am thrilled that HPD is taking additional action to invest in more resources to put an end to tenant harassment,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “As the Council Member representing historically diverse and affordable neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, I look forward to continuing working with Mayor De Blasio, Commissioner Torres-Springer and residents to ensure that our shared vision for a more affordable city becomes a reality.”
“The only real solution to the city’s housing crisis is to build permanent, affordable housing, and I commend the mayor’s efforts. As we continue to inch closer to the City’s 300,000 unit goal, I look forward to seeing what new and innovative programs the Mayor’s Office can implement to increase the density and depth of affordability throughout the five boroughs,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“As our City works to combat a dire affordable housing crisis, we must make sure that we are fully utilizing all of the tools available to us to not only build, but protect our affordable housing stock and the individuals and families who reside in those homes,” said Council Majority Leader, Laurie A. Cumbo. “We must be bold in our leadership and send a clear message that residing in an affordable housing unit does not make you a target for bullying and harassment. I applaud the Mayor for the launch of the Anti-Tenant Harassment Unit, which is a significant step forward in protecting the housing rights and dignity of New York City’s families and communities.”
“The City’s continuing progress in creating and maintaining affordable housing demonstrates sustained commitment to an important goal,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik. “While the housing shortage continues, New Yorkers should know that City government is consistently working to address the issue.”
“Every single unit of affordable housing that is created or preserved is a victory for New Yorkers,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We are making historic strides in the creation and preservation of affordable housing for our residents. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer for their laser-like focus on this very important issue and for always working hard toward reaching – and exceeding – the goal.”
“My work in housing and tenants’ rights, both as an organizer and since I took office, has focused largely on fighting back against tenant harassment and unscrupulous landlords who put profit ahead of people. This new Tenant Anti-Harassment Unit is a vital addition to HPD- a focus on enforcement against tenant harassment, in combination with the package of legislation that I recently passed with my colleagues, will help to meaningfully combat the rampant harassment that we see. Preventing such harassment, and holding accountable those perpetrate it, is essential to creating an environment in which tenants are safe and secure in their homes. I thank the administration for creating this entity, and look forward to working with it to protect tenants across the city,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams.
“With more than 60,000 people experiencing homelessness and millions of families paying more than they can afford in rent each month, our city needs a smart, ambitious plan like Housing New York 2.0. The plan employs a wide range of strategies to support senior housing, homeownership, supportive housing, and more to ensure we are meeting the diverse needs of New Yorkers at all income levels,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader of Enterprise Community Partners. “We commend HPD for keeping the city on track to meet its goal and look forward to continuing to work together to create and preserve quality affordable homes for all New Yorkers.”
“This is a great achievement accomplished by the dedicated staff at HPD and HDC, public servants who work tirelessly to move the needle on housing affordability,” said Rachel Fee, Executive Director of New York Housing Conference. “New York Housing Conference congratulates the agency leaders and their staff.”
“Mayor de Blasio’s robust and collaborative approach to addressing the housing crisis continues to have life-changing impacts for tens of thousands of families across the five boroughs,” said Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH). “It’s crucial to continue working with all stakeholders to maximize production of the affordable homes that New Yorkers need – and NYSAFAH members remain committed to doing their part every day.”
“Habitat for Humanity New York City is proud to have contributed to this historic year of affordable housing development by breaking ground on Sydney House, the largest Habitat for Humanity multi-family building in the world, and the first low-income cooperative homeownership project under the Mayor’s new Open Door program,” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat NYC. “Housing New York 2.0 deepened its dedication to homeownership through the expansion of new construction, down-payment assistance, home repairs, and community land trust partnerships. This is a huge step forward in creating a more equitable city, and Habitat NYC looks forward to building on this foundation in partnership with the Mayor and HPD in our shared mission to ensure future generations of New Yorkers have a safe, quality, and affordable place to call home.”
“Kudos to Mayor de Blasio and his housing team on reaching this milestone! We’re thrilled that the City’s achievements this year include creating significant new opportunities for affordable homeownership, such as its Open Door initiative and an expanded down payment assistance program,” said Christie Peale, CEO and Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “So many New Yorkers want to share in the economic opportunities of our city, and the Mayor’s vision and commitment to Housing New York 2.0 is critical to making those dreams come true.”
“The Network is grateful to see the City’s strong commitment to supportive housing as part of the Housing New York plan. At a time when we need to deploy all the available tools to address the homelessness crisis, we applaud the acceleration of capital funding in the budget to increase development of supportive housing from 500 to 700 units per year,” said Laura Mascuch, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York.
“There is much more to do, but we are seeing progress,” said Kristin Miller, Director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing Metro Team based in New York City. “What the Mayor’s plan recognizes is that homelessness in our City is directly linked to an affordable housing crisis, and we cannot effectively address for former without creating much more of the latter. That’s why we should mark these milestones and congratulate the administration for its commitment and, just as importantly, reaffirm efforts to keep the momentum going.”
“SAGE congratulates Mayor de Blasio and the NYC Housing and Preservation Department (HPD) on this achievement,” says SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “We are excited to continue our partnership with HPD in creating affordable senior housing that is LGBT-friendly in both Brooklyn and the Bronx, opening in 2019.”
“LiveOn NY commends Mayor Bill de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, and Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer for their dedication to the historic production and preservation of affordable housing,” states Allison Nickerson, Executive Director of LiveOn NY. “LiveOn NY is appreciative of the monumental effort that goes into every unit of affordable housing and we are heartened by the impact that these homes will have, particularly on the lives of New York’s older adults. As the population of seniors continues to increase, we look forward to continuing to work with the city to build upon the progress made and to our overall commitment to making New York a better place age.”
“As a nonprofit property owner and developer, MBD Community Housing Corp. stands proud in support of the City in its efforts to provide safe, clean and affordable housing to its residents,” said Derrick Lovett, President and CEO of MBD Community Housing Corporation.