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Why de Blasio has gone begging to real-estate bigwigs.

The Post’s Aug. 12 scoop that Mayor de Blasio’s top deputies held scores of previously undisclosed meetings with real-estate lobbyists last spring raises a big question: Namely, what did they talk about? City Hall presumably wasn’t entertaining proposals to construct a billionaire-friendly apartment skyscraper in Central Park. But if such a folly were to include...
Time: 19:49     Date: 16.08.2018
Last US News - Opinion: Why de Blasio has gone begging to real-estate bigwigs. NY Post 24 - US News

Namely, what did they talk about?

City Hall presumably wasn’t entertaining proposals to construct a billionaire-friendly apartment skyscraper in Central Park. But if such a folly were to include a few “affordable” housing units, the “progressive,” profit- and wealth-hating de Blasio might jump right on board.

Affordable-housing creation was, our sources said, Topic No. 1 at many of the City Hall powwows. De Blasio is desperate to show some quantifiable “progressive” success in any future political campaign. So he’s knocking over every lamp in town to create, or pretend to create, cheaper apartments. He even this week proposed including them in new prisons to replace the one on Rikers Island.

The head of the low-income residents advocacy group New York Communities for Change, Jonathan Westin, told The Post that the secret lobbyists’ meetings with Team de Blasio show that City Hall has “an open door to real-estate developers” who have contributed to his campaigns.

But it’s just as likely that City Hall went begging to the developers. Big firms such as Vornado Realty Trust, Rudin Management and Tishman Speyer are among the few that are rich and strong enough to afford to be able to include cheaper apartments — rental or for purchase — in future projects.

The city has neither the means nor the land nor the expertise to build, on its own, any apartments at all.

De Blasio discovered that the only way to “create” a relative handful of affordables was to shoehorn them into new buildings that are mostly unaffordable to truly poor New Yorkers — never mind that, as some leftist detractors gripe, even the supposedly “affordable” units are too expensive.

De Blasio’s obsession drives his rezonings of East New York in Brooklyn, Jerome Avenue in The Bronx and Inwood in upper Manhattan.

De Blasio has failed abysmally to protect the poor New Yorkers that he claims to champion — just look at his disastrous record with NYCHA, the Administration for Children’s Services and the Department of Homeless Services.

So he’d love to boast of creating or preserving 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026 — which would be five years after he leaves office.

But “or” is the key word. Fact is, the “preserved” category makes up more than half that goal — 180,000 units. That means finding ways, usually at taxpayer expense, to pay landlords of rent-stabilized apartments to keep them rent-stabilized.

The city claims to have so far “secured” some 77,000 affordable units since de Blasio took office on New Year’s Day 2014 — including a record 22,500 last year — but hasn’t specified how many are actually new.

Ironically, his rezonings might prove beneficial to the city as a whole over time. That’s because allowing construction of many new homes for the middle and working classes, with a few more for the poor, can stabilize troubled areas and bring in new investment.

But de Blasio’s true believers should know that his “progressive” mission to benefit the oppressed classes is a lie.

Opinion

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Metro

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