Commissioner Puts Community Development at Forefront of Housing Plan

This story was originally published on the Gotham Gazette.

Discussing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan on Friday, the city’s housing commissioner stressed that it is also a program for community development.

Speaking at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism's Center for Community and Ethnic Media, Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, gave an update on the administration’s 10-year 200,000-unit affordable housing plan, and spoke about how the city is working to revitalize communities in the process.

Torres-Springer’s appearance came just after the city released a new plan for Brownsville, Brooklyn that aims to not only add 2,500 units of affordable housing, but address deep-rooted community issues in one of the poorest, resource-starved neighborhoods in the city. The plan, she said, was developed with community input via in-person planning meetings and an online option provided by HPD over the last year.

“We know at HPD that the crisis that we are facing in terms of affordability is much more than just building housing,” Torres-Springer said.

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