A top de Blasio housing wonk warned critics of the mayor’s ambitious affordable housing plan that the dream of stopping new construction altogether is hopeless and that only building apartments for the poorest New Yorkers is economically unfeasible.
“We have to shape development rather than just react to it. And too much of the discourse is about stopping development,” said Vicki Been, the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “You don’t stop development in a city like New York. So our approach is, let’s work to shape it, to serve the interests of the neighborhoods across the city.”
With Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vision to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing encountering increasing criticism from some corners that it is insufficient, and might even accelerate gentrification in the outer boroughs, Ms. Been took the podium at New York Law School this morning to explain and defend the plan. Ms. Been argued that the city could use a toolkit of zoning, tax abatements and public financing to encourage the private market to accommodate more low-income people—but said efforts to stop the city’s shifting real estate landscape are futile.