From the NY Times:
For years, New York City has tried to create more affordable housing by encouraging developers to include apartments for low- and middle-income households in return for being allowed to construct bigger buildings.
But a new report by the office of City Councilman Brad Lander, a Brooklyn Democrat and housing expert, says that that strategy is producing too few affordable units and that the city should require developers to build more of them.
The report, to be released on Friday by Mr. Lander and the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, which represents nonprofit groups that promote affordable housing, found that the optional program known as inclusionary zoning had generated about 2,700 permanently affordable units since 2005, or less than 2 percent of all apartments developed in the city during the same period.
Under the program, the city allows developers of market-rate housing to build more units than would normally be allowed when neighborhoods are rezoned for new development, as long as they make 20 percent of the new homes affordable.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the real estate industry have favored the exchange of more density for affordable set-asides on a voluntary basis. But affordable housing advocates and some mayoral candidates argue that the time has come for mandatory programs to make a dent in the housing shortage for low-income New Yorkers.