NYC Mayor Vows to Build Taller to Meet Affordable Housing Goal

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times
February 20, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

In a closed-door meeting with the Real Estate Board of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that his plans to build 200,000 affordable housing units would need developers to build at an aggressive pace.

The mayor’s office later released a 11-minute video from the 90-minute talk.

“I hope people hear me loud and clear that the only way I can achieve my goals is if we are building and building aggressively,” de Blasio said. He said he was willing to use height and density “to the maximum feasible extent.”

During his campaign, there were worries de Blasio would not be as receptive to development as the previous mayor. But after his election, de Blasio talked about revisiting the Midtown East rezoning plan. He then appointed the former head of urban investment at Goldman Sachs as his deputy mayor for housing, and a real estate lobbyist as the commissioner of the Department of City Planning.

“I’m deadly serious about 200,000 units of affordable housing,” de Blasio said.

There were no mentions of specific development plans.

Peg Breen, president of the Landmarks Conservancy, told New York Daily News de Blasio needed to focus on infrastructure first.

“The trains are packed, the streets are full of potholes. The mayor needs to focus on our dire infrastructure issues first, before we continue to march skyward,” Breen said.

“If we want to be a world-class city, it’s not how many tall buildings we have, it’s how we get to them.”

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