Hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers excluded from mayor’s affordable housing plan
7 December 2018
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest housing plan, which is supposed to “create or preserve” 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026, would fall far short of the actual need, according to a newly released report by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
The city’s critical lack of housing that is affordable to millions of its working-class residents has been growing increasingly acute. Mayor de Blasio, touted as a “progressive” Democrat, now in his second term, was originally elected in 2013 on a promise to address the city’s ever-increasing economic inequality—the “Tale of Two Cities.” Instead, inequality, including as manifested in the rising cost of housing, has continued to worsen.
A 2016 report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that New York State had the greatest degree of income inequality in the US. The study found that the top 1 percent accumulated 45 times the income earned by the bottom 99 percent. The peak of income inequality in the state was found, not surprisingly, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the home of Wall Street. The average income of the top 1 percent ($8.1 million) was 116 times that of the bottom 99 percent ($70,500).
A 2017 report by the city’s Independent Budget Office corroborated this pattern. Comparing data from 2006 to 2014, it found that, based on an annual sample of 770,700 tax returns, the share of total income received by the bottom half of earners dropped from 7.4 percent to 5.6 percent. The hyper-concentration of wealth was even greater at the very top. Over the same period, the income of the uppermost one 10th of 1 percent, about 3,700 tax filers,…