Amid a worsening housing emergency defined by soaring rents and a massive housing shortage, we are disappointed to see a 43 percent decline this year in the production and preservation of affordable homes for New Yorkers who desperately need them.
Newly released data from the city shows that HPD produced just 16,042 units of affordable housing in fiscal year 2022, a 43 percent decrease from the 28,326 units produced in fiscal year 2021. Such a significant decline is a serious warning that New York is moving in the wrong direction on housing, and it will make it significantly harder for public investment to respond to this crisis.
At the same time, there were promising signs. We are very glad to see the Adams administration prioritize showing investment in public housing through the PACT program. We are also encouraged by moving away from simply counting New Yorkers experiencing homelessness to instead quantify the number who have moved out of the shelter system and into stable affordable housing, since housing is the solution to homelessness. While not an increase in total numbers, there was a percentage increase of new affordable homes available to extremely-low-income households. Finally, they announced that they are committing an additional $44 million in homeownership funding. All of these are positive developments.
But let us also be extremely clear: the status quo right now is simply not acceptable. We see that staffing levels at HPD continue to get worse under the Adams administration, declining 4 percent overall in August since December in the latest data we received from the Independent Budget Office. This is directly impacting the City’s ability to produce new homes and is a stark reminder that the agency should be exempted from upcoming PEG mandates issued by City Hall.
The data did not include affordability levels or a breakout showing new construction and preservation of affordable housing. We will send a new analysis when more data is available.