Alex Schwartz, Ph.D.
Alex Schwartz is a Professor of Urban Policy at the New School. He is the author of Housing Policy in the United States (3rd Edition) (Routledge 2014) and Managing Editor for North America for the international journal Housing Studies.
Affordable for Who? New York City’s Affordable Housing Plan Under Mayor De Blasio and the Limits of Local Initiative in Addressing Shelter Poverty
New York City is two years into Mayor De Blasio’s ambitious housing plan. Despite its accomplishments, advocates have criticized the plan for failing to provide housing that is affordable to most residents of low-income neighborhoods, and, perversely, for aggravating the affordable housing crisis by fostering gentrification. This paper will provide an overview of the De Blasio plan, placing it in the context of the city’s previous housing programs and the city’s current housing market dynamics. It argues that the shortcomings of the plan in delivering housing affordable to low-income households highlight fundamental limitations in the ability of state and local governments to address the housing needs of low-income residents.