Audio: Call for NYC to Retool its Housing Strategy After COVID-19

New York City is closing fast on the next rent due date, May 1, wondering how many tenants will pay their landlords in full—a month after the last anxiety-filled deadline, but still with no comprehensive tenant relief plan in place. A proposal to cancel rent has not advanced, and despite Mayor de Blasio’s call for a freeze on rents in the city’s stabilized apartments, the Rent Guidelines Board has begun its annual consideration of rent hikes affecting 2 million people.

The worries about housing are not confined to the short term. As first reported in Politico, Mayor de Blasio’s executive budget proposes large shifts in capital funding for his 300,000-unit housing plan—essentially backloading hundreds of millions in capital expenditures to future years, most of which fall beyond his term. According to Jessica Katz, the executive director of the Citizens Housing and Policy Council (CHPC), a research and advocacy organization, the new economic reality facing the city is just one reason for a wholesale reconsideration of housing strategy—not just the mayor’s plan, but every aspect of the city’s approach.

The organization outlined the topics for debate in a briefing paper released Tuesday. Katz spoke to City Limits on Monday: