On Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his efforts at moving past his recent friction with the NYPD and PBA, holding a press conference to tout his administration’s accomplishments in “creating or preserving” affordable housing during 2014. de Blasio celebrated exceeding his administration’s stated goal of creating or preserving at least 16,000 units of “affordable” housing in calendar year 2014, reporting that it financed the “creation and preservation of” 17,376 “affordable units.” After several weeks of intense confrontation and conflict with the PBA and many outside critics, de Blasio appeared to relish discussing a subject that he’s long been been deeply interested in and in which his administration has invested substantial energy and effort.
The mayor was joined at Eagle Houses, a co-op in Fort Greene, by Rep. Jose Serrano, Assembly Members Walter Mosely and Joe Lentol, Public Advocate Tish James, Council Members Laurie Cumbo and Jumaane Williams, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been and Housing Development Corporation President Gary Rodney.
On Topic Q&A:
On topic questions included whether the administration plans to increase low-income affordable housing production, what actions are required for the administration to count a unit of housing as “preserved”, whether housing built with 421(a) tax credits anywhere in the City should require affordable units, how the de Blasio administration counts housing underway at the end of the Bloomberg administration toward its goal, what was done in this housing complex to “preserve” these units, whether units counted as “preserved” are always on a 30 year agreement, the annual average of 20,000 units created or preserved as set forth in the mayor’s ten year goal of 200,000 such units and how money was spent on the 17,000 units created or preserved in 2014.
Off Topic Q&A:
Off topic questions included a Department of Investigations report detailing problems with corrections officers at Rikers Island, de Blasio’s message to protestors resuming anti-NYPD protests, his relationship with police unions, a call by the head of the Lieutentants Benevolent Association to strengthen laws concerning resisting arrest, an increase in police protection for Jewish organizations and sites and Dov Hikind’s claim of a decrease in police presence, delays in the implementation of the City’s municipal ID card program, his message to PBA members dissatisfied with their union leadership, his position on a city council plan to fund the purchase of additional bullet-proof vests for police officers, whether the Democratic National Committee has expressed concerns around the recent protests as it considers whether to hold the 2016 convention in Brooklyn, whether his “thoughts” on the anti-NYPD protests have “evolved” and whether he will direct the NYPD to change its FOIL request process to accept email or other electronic requests.