Brendan Cheney testified at the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee this week about the need for increased attention and resources for affordable homeownership. He cited data showing limited production of affordable homeownership housing over the past several years, including under Mayor Eric Adams’s first year.
Last year Mayor Adams committed to increasing affordable homeownership during his administration. In his Housing Our Neighbors housing blueprint, Mayor Adams said the city would increase opportunities for affordable homeownership by expanding downpayment assistance and building more affordable homeownership options as well as creating new models for shared equity and community ownership. We support these goals.
But so far his administration has not delivered; affordable homeownership development remains woefully inadequate. In calendar year 2022, the Adams administration produced just 144 units of new affordable homeownership housing. And if you exclude downpayment assistance and other direct assistance programs, HPD produced just 49 units of new construction homeownership housing. Both numbers represent a tiny share of HPD’s more than 8,000 units of new construction affordable housing each year.
Increasing affordable homeownership is one of the most powerful ways to repair the damage of previous discriminatory housing policies and expand wealth-building opportunities to more New Yorkers. We look forward to working with the City Council, our partners and HPD to expand affordable homeownership opportunities.
You can read our full testimony here.