This morning, the NY Times takes a look at the Mayor's $7.5 billion affordable housing plan four years since he announced it and one year since he expanded it to 165,000 units of low- to moderate-cost housing. About one third of the projected units, or 55,000, have been financed to date, and 41,366 have been completed.
But the 10-year plan may not succeed in producing a net increase in affordable housing. The problem is that rents in the city have risen so fast, and older programs such as Mitchell-Lama and rent control have been allowed to lapse in favor market-rate conversions. And land has been sold to non-profits or developers. The commissioner of housing preservation and development acknowledged to the Times, "We are moving from a problem of abandonment to a problem of affordability."
Still, there have been several individual examples of progressive projects that could inspire further advancement in the field. One such case is the proposed Via Verde apartment complex in the Bronx, which arose out out an international architectural competition sponsored by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Bloomberg Administration, and the American Institute of Architects. A innovative fruit-bearing program in Los Angeles, with affordable "Skidrow" housing designed by Michael Maltzan, was recently reviewed by Nicolai Ouroussoff.
Back in 2003, Gotham Gazette reviewed the Mayor's plans for affordable housing.