Saturday, May 30, 2015

MAYOR DE BLASIO HOLDS PRESS GAGGLE



Mayor Bill de Blasio: Again, we understand it’s first and foremost a gang problem, and it’s about both efforts to take down some of the big gangs, it’s about gang intervention efforts to stop some of the violence before it happens, but, you know, again, this is about applying our resources in the right places. 

We’ve shown, under Commissioner Bratton, that the PD is very agile. It’s smart about making those adjustments. They did it last year. They’re going to do it this year. 

Question: Your plan for dealing with an intransigent governor?

Mayor: We’re bringing the message to the people. The people of this city know we need affordable housing, and they’ll make their voices heard in Albany.

Question: Are you disappointed in Governor Cuomo and his roadblocks? 

Mayor: Well, as I said yesterday, we would expect more partnership, you know? This is an opportunity to protect affordable housing here in the city. If we don’t protect it, you know, we will continue to lose thousands and thousands of units of affordable housing. We’ve lost several hundred thousand units over the last few decades. I would think the governor would want to be part of that solution – and the same on 421-a. Here’s a chance to get a much better deal for the taxpayer, to get much more affordable housing for the tax credits that are in place. The real estate industry has agreed to these concessions. I would think the governor would want to embrace that. I think that’s time he does it. 

Question: He calls it a giveaway.

Mayor: It’s the exact opposite – and I think it’s disingenuous of him. Obviously, the giveaway is that, for decades, the tax credit was given without any qualification. I and others in 2006 began the process of reform in the City Council. But our – our vision for 421-a is that literally every unit – every building subsidized would have affordable housing in it. Every single building that is part of the 421-a program would have affordable housing in it. We would end the process of subsidizing luxury condos. We would tax those who purchase high-value homes, and use those resources to create more affordable housing. Obviously, our plan is about both maximizing affordable housing and asking more of developers. So it’s time for the governor to get the facts. 

Question: Why do you suppose he’s being so difficult?

Mayor: I don’t – I don’t try to analyze other people’s motives. I’m just saying it’s time for him to stand up for the people of this city and for affordable housing. 
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