New York City released Tuesday the blueprint for a plan that aims to tackle the city's affordable housing crisis.
"Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness" lays out a vision and the steps the city will take to provide New Yorkers with "safe, high-quality, affordable homes" as part of a $22 billion investment in affordable housing -- the largest in the city's history.
Mayor Eric Adams' plan was crafted with input from various industries, community leaders, stakeholders and New Yorkers who have experienced homelessness.
“Today is a new day for housing in New York City,” Adams said. “Safe, stable, and affordable housing cannot be a privilege — it is fundamental to my vision for a prosperous, inclusive city. We spoke with and listened to New Yorkers who have been impacted by the housing crisis in our city, and today we are delivering the most comprehensive plan in New York City’s history.”
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The blueprint's key pillars are: transforming NYCHA, addressing homelessness and housing instability, creating and preserving affordable housing, imporving the health and safety of New Yorkers and reducing administrative burdens, according to the city. With this in mind, some of the plan's major points include:
- Expanding affordable homeownership opportunities and help communities build and maintain wealth;
- Creating supportive housing by completing 15,000 promised supportive homes by 2028;
- Streamlining services and processes NYCHA provides to city residents, including speeding up repairs at the city's public housing complexes;
- Getting New Yorkers into high-quality affordable housing faster by eliminating unnecessary paperwork and obstacles.
“Housing is the basis for everything we are trying to achieve, from helping children succeed in school to building safer communities and a more equitable city,” Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz said in a statement, adding that "by including NYCHA and homelessness for the first time ever, we are elevating directly impacted New Yorkers into the heart of our housing strategies to ensure that everyone finally receives the safe, stable, and affordable housing they and their families deserve. This blueprint will help us get there.”
The news of the blueprint comes as New Yorkers continue to grapple with sky high rents and a shortage of affordable housing. However, advocates for those experiencing homelessness have major concerns.
"We are calling for an end to these encampment sweeps," Jacquelyn Simone, Policy Director with Coalition for the Homeless, said, pointing to the administration's recent takedown of homeless encampments, while also pointing out that most of the new apartments are not for homeless New Yorkers.
In a separate statement, Simone went on to say: "While Mayor Adams’ plan has some laudable goals for addressing many of the problems encountered by homeless New Yorkers, more action and investment is needed to actually reduce homelessness. Mayor Adams must dramatically expand the supply of permanent and supportive housing for homeless New Yorkers and extremely low-income households – which takes far bolder housing investments than are included in this plan."
When Adams was asked about what his response is to those who say he criminalized homelessness before providing an alternative, the mayor replied: "If that compassion was real, they had 50 years to solve [the housing crisis]. I had five months to say there is nothing dignified about living on the streets."