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Public Employee Press


A progressive housing plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the city is on track to build and protect 200,000 affordable homes by 2022 — two years ahead of schedule — and is taking on a new goal of 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026.

The city has secured 77,651 affordable homes, enough for more than 200,000 New Yorkers, since de Blasio took office, according to the mayor’s office.

The city also boasts more housing for low-income New Yorkers than ever before, and more protections to keep New Yorkers in their homes.

“We are building an engine that will keep families in safe, decent and affordable homes for decades to come,” the mayor said. “We will keep this a city for seniors, veterans, working families and the middle class.”

All this is welcome news, indeed — and more evidence of the mayor’s focus on making the city livable for all of its residents.

Back in January 2014, the mayor declared in his inaugural address that his administration had been “called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love.”

Nowhere is this inequality been more evident than in the area of housing. In Red Hook, Brooklyn, for example, a neighborhood with deep working-class roots, homes are now on the market for $3 million.

But the greatness of our city should never be measured by how much its luxury housing shines and sparkles for those who can afford the glitter.

Instead, it should be measured by the quality of life the city provides for all of us, and Mayor de Blasio is to be commended for continuing to keep his eye on the prize: a New York City that allows people from all walks of life a chance to achieve the American Dream.

Shelly Nortz, the executive director for policy at the Coalition for the Homeless, said the mayor’s housing plan “represents real progress toward making New York City more affordable.” We agree.