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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Mayor Adams Announces Record-Breaking Year for Creating and Connecting New Yorkers to Affordable Housing

Adams Administration Produced More New Supportive Homes and Homes for Formerly Homeless New Yorkers in Fiscal Year 2023 Than Any Year in City's History

With Shelter Population at Record High Resulting From Massive Influx of Asylum Seekers, Mayor Adams Eliminated 90-Day Rule and Administration Connected More New Yorkers to Permanent Homes With CityFHEPS Than Any Year Since Program's Creation

Nearly 27,000 Affordable Homes Created and Preserved Includes Second Highest Number of New Affordable Homes Created in One Year

Even With Most Funding for Affordable Housing in City's History, Lapse of Key Affordable Housing Incentive Threatens to Halt Progress Without Action in Albany

New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday, August 3, announced landmark progress in his efforts to tackle the city's affordable housing crisis and connect New Yorkers to safe, high-quality, affordable homes. In Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), the administration produced 26,682 affordable homes through new construction and preservation deals closed by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) – a 22 percent increase over the prior year. That total includes 12,278 homes that will be newly constructed, the second-highest number of new affordable homes funded in one year since tracking began in 1976. HPD alone increased their affordable housing production by 45 percent over FY22.

The Adams administration also broke several records in its efforts to create and connect the most vulnerable New Yorkers to permanent affordable housing. HPD financed the highest number of supportive homes in city history, as well as the highest number of homes for New Yorkers who formerly experienced homelessness in a fiscal year since tracking began in 2014. As Mayor Adams advanced a package of reforms to the City Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) housing voucher program and eliminated the 90-day length-of-stay requirement for New Yorkers in shelter to be eligible for the vouchers, DSS connected more New Yorkers to permanent housing using CityFHEPS vouchers than in any other year in the program's history.

"Our city declared a housing emergency five decades ago, and five decades later, the problem is worse than ever. That's why my administration is doing everything to flip the script – speeding the production of affordable housing, preserving the housing stock we already have, and slashing red tape to get New Yorkers out of shelters and into permanent homes – and today, the data shows that we are succeeding," said Mayor Adams. "In the last fiscal year, we built more new supportive homes and homes for those New Yorkers formerly experiencing homelessness than any year in New York City history, connected more New Yorkers to permanent housing using CityFHEPS vouchers than any year in program history, and created and preserved 45 percent more homes than in the previous year. But without action from our partners in Albany, our historic progress will stall. A new and improved 421-a is crucial to getting new housing built, and this year, we've seen the way it makes a difference."

"Since the start of this administration, we knew that addressing the housing crisis required two separate but interconnected strategies: improving how we connect New Yorkers to permanent housing and building a lot more housing," said First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. "I'm so proud of the records we're setting, thanks to the hard work of HPD, HDC, NYCHA, and DSS. Our work is far from done – and we'll continue pushing to ensure we're using every tool we can to create new housing. New Yorkers cannot wait any longer."

"The 26,682 homes financed last year represent a sign of New York City's strong recovery and our administration's commitment to New Yorkers in need of affordable housing," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. "Mayor Adams, HPD, HDC, NYCHA, and DSS, along with former Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz, broke administrative barriers to provide landmark support to tenants, those experiencing homelessness, and those who once did. From the increase in Housing Connect approvals and therefore housing placements to the most homeless and supportive homes produced in a fiscal year, to efforts to move more people with a CityFHEPS voucher into permanent housing, this city said no to old practices that kept people out of homes and yes to action that will make New York City more affordable and stronger after the challenges of the COVID crisis, high interest rates, and more."

The Adams administration has committed $24 billion for affordable housing – the most in New York City's history. This is just part of the administration's work under Mayor Adams' "Housing Our Neighbors" and "Get Stuff Built" plans and progress towards the city's "moonshot" goal of meeting the need for 500,000 new homes over the next decade. In the coming months, Mayor Adams will take steps to advance his "City of Yes for Housing Opportunity" proposal with changes to zoning citywide to unlock potential for more new housing in every corner of the city.

Amid a crisis that has brought more than 95,000 asylum seekers to New York City and more than doubled the city's shelter population in approximately a year to more than 107,000, the Adams administration took extraordinary steps that proved successful in connecting New Yorkers in the shelter system to permanent affordable housing and created more housing to serve the most vulnerable. In FY23, DSS helped 15,000 households move out of shelters and into permanent housing – 18 percent higher than the prior fiscal year. Through a series of policy changes and process improvements, DSS also increased placements in supportive housing by 43 percent, year over year. HPD and HDC approved 9,003 households for new, affordable homes through Housing Connect lotteries – a 37 percent increase over the prior year – while connecting 2,531 households who formerly experienced homelessness to HPD-financed homes, an increase of 15 percent.

Despite rising housing costs due to increasing interest rates, inflation, construction costs, and insurance rates, HPD additionally financed the most homes for New Yorkers who formerly experienced homelessness since tracking began in 2014 with 3,574 homes now in progress. That figure represents 15 percent of the agency's overall housing production – the highest share of total production since tracking began in 2014. HPD also produced more supportive housing than any year on record with 1,923 units now in progress, representing 8 percent of total production – also the highest share of total production since tracking began in 2014.

Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of all homes that HPD financed last year will serve extremely low-income households, those earning between 0 percent and 30 percent of area median income. This figure represents the highest share of total production dedicated to this set of New Yorkers on record since 2014. At the same time, projects that rely on the 421-a affordable housing incentive program made up fully half of the new construction units financed last year.

Through the Street to Housing pilot program that Mayor Adams introduced in November 2022, DSS connected 80 New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness to supportive housing units. Today, 40 of those individuals have already signed their leases, and their supportive housing units are now their permanent home. The elimination of the 90-day length-of-stay requirement for CityFHEPS made over 500 households – that would have otherwise been required to wait 90 days for a housing voucher – immediately eligible for this powerful tool.

In line with Mayor Adams' commitment to use every tool available to connect New Yorkers to affordable homes, the city continued to lead the nation in utilizing federal Emergency Housing Vouchers for households in need – distributing all 7,788 allocated from the federal government since 2021 with 90 percent already being utilized to access permanent housing, despite the extreme scarcity of available apartments.

The Adams administration is the first mayoral administration in New York City history to include public housing in its housing plan, and Mayor Adams' commitment to NYCHA is evident in his groundbreaking efforts to create the Public Housing Preservation Trust. Earlier this week, Mayor Adams visited Nostrand Houses in Brooklyn to inform residents about their opportunity to be the first development to opt into the Trust.

At the same time, through the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) initiative, NYCHA has deployed a proven national program to protect aging homes for tens of thousands of public housing residents, while preserving affordability and maintaining strong tenant rights and protections. NYCHA plans to convert a total of 62,000 apartments through this program, which is subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and allows the Authority to continue to own the land and buildings.

In FY23, NYCHA converted 2,592 apartments to the Project-Based Section 8 program through the PACT program, representing $922 million in capital repairs for nearly 6,000 residents. To date, NYCHA has used the PACT program to convert 18,018 apartments at 62 developments, representing over $4.3 billion in capital repairs across the city. Another 19,691 apartments at 76 developments are in active planning and are slated for comprehensive repairs and upgrades.

Overall, over 37,000 apartments across 138 developments are in pre-development, under construction, or have completed renovations through the PACT program. This effort represents nearly $8 billion in building upgrades for public housing.

Today's event took place at 311 11th Avenue, a new, mixed-income housing project funded in part by the 421-a program with 235 homes affordable to New Yorkers with incomes as low $26,229 for a family of two, or up to 40 percent of area median income. With 938 total units, the Douglaston Development project has been dubbed the largest multifamily rental building in Manhattan and will deliver a new Fire Department of the City of New York Emergency Medical Services Station, which will help reduce emergency response times on the west side of Manhattan.

The expiration of the 421-a affordable housing incentive – the city's main incentive program for building new affordable housing – has begun to undercut affordable housing production and threatens to derail the administration's efforts to continue building the housing New Yorkers need – unless Albany acts to replace it. Mayor Adams earlier this year laid out a clear agenda for investments and policy changes needed at the state level to give New York City the tools to create the housing New Yorkers need. Building on important wins in Albany this year – including emergency rent relief for NYCHA residents; a replacement for the J-51 affordable housing preservation program; and the Housing Affordability, Resiliency, and Energy Efficiency Investment Act – Mayor Adams will continue advocating for the state to provide these additional critical tools in 2024.


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