Affordability Mandate Details

Details of the de Blasio administration’s mandatory inclusionary zoning and housing quality proposals were formally released Monday, beginning a six month review process before action by the City Council. Under the zoning proposal, affordable housing would be required in every area of the City that is rezoned. Either 25% of residential floor area must be for affordable housing units for residents with incomes averaging 60% AMI ($46,620 per year for a family of three), or 30% of residential floor area must be for affordable housing units for residents with incomes averaging 80% AMI ($62,150 per year for a family of three). In some areas, outside core Manhattan, the City Council could permit an alternative where 30% of the total residential floor area must be for housing units for residents with incomes averaging 120% AMI ($93,240 per year for a family of three). All affordable housing is supposed to be “permanently” affordable, although it is not clear where long term subsidies will come from. Under the housing quality plan, buildings in low to mid-rise areas would get an additional five feet of building height in exchange for higher ground floors that would accommodate street retail, reduced parking requirements in affordable housing, and various exemptions from rules in order to encourage development of senior housing.

But the housing quality and affordability proposals will be harder to implement in areas such as Mount Morris Park in Harlem, where the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Tuesday, approved an extension of the existing historic district.

The housing plan also does not deal with labor costs, but labor was out in force this week, protesting non-union work and allegedly unsafe conditions on affordable  housing sites.

It was reported this week that Phipps Houses will tear down Lambert Houses in the Bronx, a 731 unit Section 8 project built in the 70’s, and replace it with about 1665 affordable units. Phipps noted that the buildings were crumbling, and that the design, celebrated when the project opened, invited crime.  Tenants are to be moved around the older buildings during construction. Imagine what a for-profit developer would have to go through if it even proposed such a project. And lucky the buildings weren’t landmarked yet.

And, finally on the affordable housing front, the Times reported yesterday on another housing vs. garden controversy, this time on Elizabeth Street in Lower Manhattan.

ABO manages the Registered in Apartment Management class nationally and CHIP® will be offering RAM classes for its members on a regular basis. The next class is being presented at the Real Estate Education Center ( in October 2015. Call the CHIP® office at 212-838-7442 and ask for Brent or email to get details for this and other classes.

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