Mayor’s Plan Offers More Affordable Housing in East New York

Photo by MMZach via Wikipedia.

Photo by MMZach via Wikipedia.

By GREGORY N. HEIRES and MIKE LEE

DC 37 released an analysis of the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for East New York’s housing showing that proposed rent levels for new affordable housing to be significantly less expensive than apartments currently renting in that neighborhood.

“The status quo is just not working — it’s leaving East New York without the tools or investments needed to protect against rising rents,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido on April 7. “We looked hard at the facts. And the facts are that under the city’s plan, East New York will become more affordable for working men and women such as our members.”

The DC 37 report shows union members and other working families who live in the Brooklyn neighborhood are struggling with rising rents. Rents in the neighborhood rose 26 percent between 2000 and 2013.

About 40 percent of residents in East New York pay more than half their income on rent. That exceeds the citywide average of 29 percent.

Today, a one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,100 per month in East New York. The average two-bedroom apartment rents for $1,400 per month, and three bedrooms rent for $1,700. To afford these rents, residents would need to earn between $44,000 and $68,000 a year. That is well above the median household income of $34,689 in East New York — and well above what a typical worker can pay.

Many DC 37 members earn less than $39,000 year, which means they cannot afford the typical rent in East New York.

An affordable rent for them (30 percent of salary) should be no higher than $985 a month. An affordable rent for a typical DC 37 Office Aide with a salary of $30,644 would be $766 a month. The affordable rent for a Custodial Assistant with a starting salary of $33,363 is $834 a month. A Patient Care Associate with a starting salary of $39,934 can afford to pay $998 a month.

“DC 37 represents city employees whose families are working their way into the middle class,” Garrido said. “Among others, we represent school cafeteria, maintenance and clerical workers. These are families of modest means, and precisely the New Yorkers in need of affordable housing.”

During the first two years of the de Blasio administration, the city pledged to build 1,200 affordable apartments serving a diverse range of families.

In East New York, 80 percent of the affordable housing the city has committed to build will have rents below $1,200 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Forty percent of the new housing will be priced less than $1,000 per month for a two-bedroom home. These rents are more affordable than current market rates.

The New York City Council overwhelmingly approved the mayor’s housing plan for the city on March 22. The council is now considering the East New York plan, which also includes significantly improved services for neighborhood’s residents.

Under the mayor’s East New York plan:

  • 10 percent  of the units will be less than 30 percent of a three-member family’s average monthly income, up to $583 a month,
  • 15 percent of units will be between 31 percent and 40 percent, up to $777 a month,
  • 15 percent of units will have rents between 41 and 50 of an average family’s income, up to $971 a month,
  • 40 percent to 60 percent of units will have rents worth between 51 percent and 60 percent of a family’s average monthly salary, up to $1,165 a month, and
  • up to 20 percent of units between 60 percent and 90 percent of a family’s monthly income, up to $1,748 a month.

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