The least powerful man in New York

The city’s shortage of affordable housing is getting worse. Last year, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer reported that the city lost 425,492 apartments renting for $900 or less between 2005 and 2017. De Blasio campaigned on a promise to build or preserve more than 200,000 units of affordable housing, which he has since raised to 300,000, and he is well on his way to doing so. The problem is that market-rate rents rose twice as fast as median wages between 2010 and 2017, and the proportion of housing that is affordable to New Yorkers dropped accordingly.

That’s a reflection of a failure throughout the region, not just the five boroughs, to provide sufficient housing – especially at the lower end of the market. “It’s really one housing market in the metropolitan region,” said Moses Gates, vice president for housing and neighborhood planning at the Regional Plan Association, a research organization focused on the New York City tri-state area. “The citywide housing shortage is definitely a regionwide issue. When you’re talking in terms of the relationship of access to jobs and the ability to afford housing, it’s a problem that extends well beyond the city boundaries. And it’s a problem that everywhere is trending worse.”

Read more in City & State NY.