New York Has a Housing Crisis. How Would the Mayoral Candidates Fix It?


The winner of the Democratic primary is almost certain to become the city’s next mayor. And while the leading candidates have indicated with their plans that they would build on Mr. de Blasio’s strategies, they have also criticized the mayor, implicitly and explicitly, for not providing enough financial support to the poorest New Yorkers.

In a report released this year, the Community Service Society, an anti-poverty group, said Mr. de Blasio’s administration had significantly expanded investment in affordable housing. But most of the efforts, the group found, were directed toward those who earned at least $53,700 for a family of three, equivalent to half of the area’s median income — when the need was greatest among those who earned less.

Ms. Garcia said that she would borrow and use state incentives and federal money to help build or preserve 50,000 rent-stabilized housing units that would be affordable to people making less than half the area’s median income, as well as 10,000 housing units that incorporated social services for homeless people. She did not offer a price for her plan, but the money would be used to build new apartments, buy existing buildings, or offer subsidies and incentives to nonprofit or private developers.

Mr. McGuire said he would borrow $2.5 billion a year over eight years, which would help finance the construction of more than 350,000 housing units. Most of that money would be earmarked for subsidies and incentives for developers to include rent-stabilized units in mixed-income developments that are affordable to those making less than half the median income. He said he would spend up to $500 million to create about 3,000 affordable units for older people with little income.

“It is a departure from what we have built for the past few years,” he said.

Mr. Yang and Mr. Donovan said they would spend billions of dollars a year to build or preserve 30,000 units meant for families in a range of incomes.

Ms. Wiley is focused on distributing more than $1.5 billion in subsidies to New Yorkers who make less than half the median income to ensure they do not pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. Initially, she said, federal coronavirus aid would cover the subsidies.

She said the program would help keep people from becoming homeless, freeing up money that would have gone to shelters to finance the subsidies instead.



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