The Housing Crisis: What the Mayoral Candidates Have to Say

June 16, 2021

Photo by Eneida Nieves from Pexels

Addressing the housing crisis was a cornerstone of mayor Bill de Blasio’s incumbency. During this time, the Mayor has greatly increased investment in affordable housing, however many key facets of the crisis were left sidelined. Here were his key shortcomings:  

  • Expanded affordable housing while homelessness and rent burdens continued to rise

  • The Mayor did in fact achieve many positive outcomes in relation to affordable housing, including the: right-to-counsel initiative, bolstering of rental assistance programs, homeless set-aside law, and appointing of key Rent Guidelines Board members. 
  • This being said, during his tenure homelessness, segregation, rent burdens for low-income tenants, and housing needs increased. 
  • Focused on meeting minimums rather than listening to what the people needed 
    • Many of the Mayor’s housing plans focused on numerical minimums and goals. This had the effect of creating short-term, digestible plans that he could “reach” without actually enacting meaningful change.  
  • Targeted issues addressed in his “Housing New York” plan at the expense of other intertwined or intersecting issues
    •  His “Housing New York” plan left out homelessness and public housing on the basis that they constituted separate issues, however this effectively led to lessened funding and lower priority for these issues. As such, the integrated nature of the housing crisis was lost. 

Now, the mayoral candidates are presenting new ideas to address the crisis that is not only still present but has also become worse due to Covid. Here are their takes: 

General viewpoints 

  • Kathryn Garcia and Raymond J McGuire

  • Create 10,000 new homes for the poorest New Yorkers
  • Maya Wiley and Shaun Donovan
    • Allocate hundreds of millions of dollars towards renters to keep them in their homes
  • Scott M Stringer 
    • Increase the number of affordable units under the city’s big residential building requirement with the help of private developers 
  • Eric Adams
    • Make wealthy neighborhoods leave room for affordable units within their limits 
  • Andrew Yang and Dianne Morales 
    • Convert hotels into housing 

Individual strategies according to candidate’s campaigns: 

  • Create 50,000 units of deeply affordable housing
  • Make it fast, easy, and legal for private partners to build more housing 
  • End apartment bans and discriminatory zoning
  • Execute NYCHA’s Blueprint for Change and get apartments fixed 
  • Build 10,000 units of supportive housing for the homeless
  • Open 10 drop-in centers with 24-hour bathrooms and critical services
  • Accelerate approvals for new housing construction and streamline ULURP
  • Raymond J McGuire [visit his website https://www.rayformayor.com/housing for more detailed information on each of these plans
    • Prevent evictions and foreclosures resulting from the pandemic and move New Yorkers out of homelessness and shelters into permanent or supportive housing
    • Reduce the cost of construction to drive down rents and get more out of taxpayer dollars
    • Increase the citywide housing supply by 10%, increase investment in housing that is affordable for low-income New Yorkers and activate underutilized space — from vacant lots to basement apartments
    • Build more senior affordable rental housing with senior-focused supports and amenities, and commit to end senior homelessness by the end of his first term in office
    • Sign a contract with NYCHA Tenants that empowers residents to create plans for their developments, leverage a number of different funding options to accelerate repairs and investments
    • Create a roadmap from renting to homeownership that helps close the racial wealth gap
  • Andrew Yang [visit his website https://www.yangforny.com/policies/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Bring back New York’s economy 
    • Build more deeply affordable housing without delay 
    • Heal the homelessness crisis 
    • Green reinvestment in NYCHA 
    • Expand resident democracy at NYCHA 
    • Support NYC’s LGBTQ youth
    • Support our disability communities
    • Support our seniors
  • Shaun Donovan  [visit his website  https://shaunfornyc.com/issues/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Keep New Yorkers safe and secure in their homes and communities
    • Invest in and preserve our public housing 
    • Expand housing choice for all New Yorkers 
    • Address homelessness through housing
    • Reform land use policy to be more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable
    • Produce more housing affordably and equitably across all five boroughs 
    • Invest in improved data and analytics 
  • Maya Wiley [visit her website https://www.mayawileyformayor.com/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • End the cruelty of street homelessness and radically decrease family and single adult homelessness.
    • Make affordable housing truly affordable.
    • Keep public housing public.
    • Maintain and expand homeownership and wealth-building in communities that have been left out.
  • Dianne Morales [visit her website https://www.dianne.nyc/housing for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Guaranteed housing for all 
    • End homelessness 
    • Reinstate a dignified NYCHA
    • Establish public oversight and democratic control
    • Lead a federal and state advocacy agenda 
  • Eric Adams [visit his website https://ericadams2021.com/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Create and preserve aggressive and affordable housing plans for all who need it
    • Reimagine our city – more options for residents to live and work will build resilience and flexibility
    • Save the NYCHA
    • Immediate attention to not only building out basic housing needs, but also an ALL-in approach to save tenants from deteriorating structures

Addressing the Housing Crisis: What the Mayoral Candidates Have to Say

Addressing the housing crisis was a cornerstone of mayor Bill de Blasio’s incumbency. During this time, the Mayor has greatly increased investment in affordable housing, however many key facets of the crisis were left sidelined. Here were his key shortcomings:  

  • Expanded affordable housing while homelessness and rent burdens continued to rise

  • The Mayor did in fact achieve many positive outcomes in relation to affordable housing, including the: right-to-counsel initiative, bolstering of rental assistance programs, homeless set-aside law, and appointing of key Rent Guidelines Board members. 
  • This being said, during his tenure homelessness, segregation, rent burdens for low-income tenants, and housing needs increased. 
  • Focused on meeting minimums rather than listening to what the people needed 
    • Many of the Mayor’s housing plans focused on numerical minimums and goals. This had the effect of creating short-term, digestible plans that he could “reach” without actually enacting meaningful change.  
  • Targeted issues addressed in his “Housing New York” plan at the expense of other intertwined or intersecting issues
    •  His “Housing New York” plan left out homelessness and public housing on the basis that they constituted separate issues, however this effectively led to lessened funding and lower priority for these issues. As such, the integrated nature of the housing crisis was lost. 

Now, the mayoral candidates are presenting new ideas to address the crisis that is not only still present but has also become worse due to Covid. Here are their takes: 

General viewpoints 

  • Kathryn Garcia and Raymond J McGuire

  • Create 10,000 new homes for the poorest New Yorkers
  • Maya Wiley and Shaun Donovan
    • Allocate hundreds of millions of dollars towards renters to keep them in their homes
  • Scott M Stringer 
    • Increase the number of affordable units under the city’s big residential building requirement with the help of private developers 
  • Eric Adams
    • Make wealthy neighborhoods leave room for affordable units within their limits 
  • Andrew Yang and Dianne Morales 
    • Convert hotels into housing 

Individual strategies according to candidate’s campaigns: 

  • Create 50,000 units of deeply affordable housing
  • Make it fast, easy, and legal for private partners to build more housing 
  • End apartment bans and discriminatory zoning
  • Execute NYCHA’s Blueprint for Change and get apartments fixed 
  • Build 10,000 units of supportive housing for the homeless
  • Open 10 drop-in centers with 24-hour bathrooms and critical services
  • Accelerate approvals for new housing construction and streamline ULURP
  • Raymond J McGuire [visit his website https://www.rayformayor.com/housing for more detailed information on each of these plans
    • Prevent evictions and foreclosures resulting from the pandemic and move New Yorkers out of homelessness and shelters into permanent or supportive housing
    • Reduce the cost of construction to drive down rents and get more out of taxpayer dollars
    • Increase the citywide housing supply by 10%, increase investment in housing that is affordable for low-income New Yorkers and activate underutilized space — from vacant lots to basement apartments
    • Build more senior affordable rental housing with senior-focused supports and amenities, and commit to end senior homelessness by the end of his first term in office
    • Sign a contract with NYCHA Tenants that empowers residents to create plans for their developments, leverage a number of different funding options to accelerate repairs and investments
    • Create a roadmap from renting to homeownership that helps close the racial wealth gap
  • Andrew Yang [visit his website https://www.yangforny.com/policies/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Bring back New York’s economy 
    • Build more deeply affordable housing without delay 
    • Heal the homelessness crisis 
    • Green reinvestment in NYCHA 
    • Expand resident democracy at NYCHA 
    • Support NYC’s LGBTQ youth
    • Support our disability communities
    • Support our seniors
  • Shaun Donovan  [visit his website  https://shaunfornyc.com/issues/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Keep New Yorkers safe and secure in their homes and communities
    • Invest in and preserve our public housing 
    • Expand housing choice for all New Yorkers 
    • Address homelessness through housing
    • Reform land use policy to be more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable
    • Produce more housing affordably and equitably across all five boroughs 
    • Invest in improved data and analytics 
  • Maya Wiley [visit her website https://www.mayawileyformayor.com/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • End the cruelty of street homelessness and radically decrease family and single adult homelessness.
    • Make affordable housing truly affordable.
    • Keep public housing public.
    • Maintain and expand homeownership and wealth-building in communities that have been left out.
  • Dianne Morales [visit her website https://www.dianne.nyc/housing for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Guaranteed housing for all 
    • End homelessness 
    • Reinstate a dignified NYCHA
    • Establish public oversight and democratic control
    • Lead a federal and state advocacy agenda 
  • Eric Adams [visit his website https://ericadams2021.com/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Create and preserve aggressive and affordable housing plans for all who need it
    • Reimagine our city – more options for residents to live and work will build resilience and flexibility
    • Save the NYCHA
    • Immediate attention to not only building out basic housing needs, but also an ALL-in approach to save tenants from deteriorating structures

Addressing the Housing Crisis: What the Mayoral Candidates Have to Say

Addressing the housing crisis was a cornerstone of mayor Bill de Blasio’s incumbency. During this time, the Mayor has greatly increased investment in affordable housing, however many key facets of the crisis were left sidelined. Here were his key shortcomings:  

  • Expanded affordable housing while homelessness and rent burdens continued to rise

  • The Mayor did in fact achieve many positive outcomes in relation to affordable housing, including the: right-to-counsel initiative, bolstering of rental assistance programs, homeless set-aside law, and appointing of key Rent Guidelines Board members. 
  • This being said, during his tenure homelessness, segregation, rent burdens for low-income tenants, and housing needs increased. 
  • Focused on meeting minimums rather than listening to what the people needed 
    • Many of the Mayor’s housing plans focused on numerical minimums and goals. This had the effect of creating short-term, digestible plans that he could “reach” without actually enacting meaningful change.  
  • Targeted issues addressed in his “Housing New York” plan at the expense of other intertwined or intersecting issues
    •  His “Housing New York” plan left out homelessness and public housing on the basis that they constituted separate issues, however this effectively led to lessened funding and lower priority for these issues. As such, the integrated nature of the housing crisis was lost. 

Now, the mayoral candidates are presenting new ideas to address the crisis that is not only still present but has also become worse due to Covid. Here are their takes: 

General viewpoints 

  • Kathryn Garcia and Raymond J McGuire

  • Create 10,000 new homes for the poorest New Yorkers
  • Maya Wiley and Shaun Donovan
    • Allocate hundreds of millions of dollars towards renters to keep them in their homes
  • Scott M Stringer 
    • Increase the number of affordable units under the city’s big residential building requirement with the help of private developers 
  • Eric Adams
    • Make wealthy neighborhoods leave room for affordable units within their limits 
  • Andrew Yang and Dianne Morales 
    • Convert hotels into housing 

Individual strategies according to candidate’s campaigns: 

  • Create 50,000 units of deeply affordable housing
  • Make it fast, easy, and legal for private partners to build more housing 
  • End apartment bans and discriminatory zoning
  • Execute NYCHA’s Blueprint for Change and get apartments fixed 
  • Build 10,000 units of supportive housing for the homeless
  • Open 10 drop-in centers with 24-hour bathrooms and critical services
  • Accelerate approvals for new housing construction and streamline ULURP
  • Raymond J McGuire [visit his website https://www.rayformayor.com/housing for more detailed information on each of these plans
    • Prevent evictions and foreclosures resulting from the pandemic and move New Yorkers out of homelessness and shelters into permanent or supportive housing
    • Reduce the cost of construction to drive down rents and get more out of taxpayer dollars
    • Increase the citywide housing supply by 10%, increase investment in housing that is affordable for low-income New Yorkers and activate underutilized space — from vacant lots to basement apartments
    • Build more senior affordable rental housing with senior-focused supports and amenities, and commit to end senior homelessness by the end of his first term in office
    • Sign a contract with NYCHA Tenants that empowers residents to create plans for their developments, leverage a number of different funding options to accelerate repairs and investments
    • Create a roadmap from renting to homeownership that helps close the racial wealth gap
  • Andrew Yang [visit his website https://www.yangforny.com/policies/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Bring back New York’s economy 
    • Build more deeply affordable housing without delay 
    • Heal the homelessness crisis 
    • Green reinvestment in NYCHA 
    • Expand resident democracy at NYCHA 
    • Support NYC’s LGBTQ youth
    • Support our disability communities
    • Support our seniors
  • Shaun Donovan  [visit his website  https://shaunfornyc.com/issues/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Keep New Yorkers safe and secure in their homes and communities
    • Invest in and preserve our public housing 
    • Expand housing choice for all New Yorkers 
    • Address homelessness through housing
    • Reform land use policy to be more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable
    • Produce more housing affordably and equitably across all five boroughs 
    • Invest in improved data and analytics 
  • Maya Wiley [visit her website https://www.mayawileyformayor.com/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • End the cruelty of street homelessness and radically decrease family and single adult homelessness.
    • Make affordable housing truly affordable.
    • Keep public housing public.
    • Maintain and expand homeownership and wealth-building in communities that have been left out.
  • Dianne Morales [visit her website https://www.dianne.nyc/housing for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Guaranteed housing for all 
    • End homelessness 
    • Reinstate a dignified NYCHA
    • Establish public oversight and democratic control
    • Lead a federal and state advocacy agenda 
  • Eric Adams [visit his website https://ericadams2021.com/housing/ for more detailed information on each of these plans]
    • Create and preserve aggressive and affordable housing plans for all who need it
    • Reimagine our city – more options for residents to live and work will build resilience and flexibility
    • Save the NYCHA
    • Immediate attention to not only building out basic housing needs, but also an ALL-in approach to save tenants from deteriorating structures

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