De Blasio’s Second State of City to Focus on Housing

NEW YORK (AP) -

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s second annual State of the City address will focus on his administration’s affordable housing plan, an ambitious proposal he aims to place at the centerpiece of his 2015 agenda the way he put prekindergarten last year.

De Blasio’s speech, to be delivered at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday in Manhattan’s Baruch College, will expand on a plan first announced last spring. The mayor has established a goal of saving or creating 200,000 affordable units over 10 years and, if successful, the program would develop housing for more than 500,000 people.

De Blasio has billed the program “the biggest affordable housing plan anyone’s tried anywhere at any time at the local level in the history of the republic.” Last year, the city saved and preserved more than 17,300 affordable units, enough to house nearly 42,000 people.

Housing costs are exorbitant in much of the city, and for most New Yorkers, their monthly housing payment is their largest expense.