The Real Deal
City Council members are fighting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed
cuts to the city’s capital budget, saying it will mean a loss of 21,000
affordable apartments over the next few years.
Based on an analysis by the New York Housing Conference, officials
estimate that the mayor’s proposed $2.3 billion reduction in the city’s
capital budget will delay financing for 5,000 new affordable units and
15,000 affordable and supportive housing units that would have been
Under the mayor’s proposal,
$583 million would be slashed from the Department of Housing
Preservation and Development’s capital budget in fiscal year 2020 and
$457 million in fiscal year 2021, a nearly 40 percent reduction.
“While the subsequent three years are projected to offset these
losses, they are beyond the term of the de Blasio administration,”
Council members Vanessa Gibson and Brad Lander wrote in a report
The mayor proposed the cuts to help balance the city budget, due July
1, after the pandemic wiped out what is now estimated as $9 billion in
city revenue over two years.
But the report calls the planned capital budget cuts a “misguided
application of austerity economics” that have “little benefit for
immediate budget savings.” According to the report, proposed cuts will
also result in the loss of more than 9,000 construction jobs.
During a press conference Monday, Gibson noted that demand for
supportive housing is only going to increase in the wake of the
“Housing has to be prioritized,” she said, adding that minority
communities have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic. “They
have felt this pandemic the most, and they are going to feel this
capital budget the most.”