Real Estate Affordable housing in NYC hit record 24,536 below-market-rate apartments in 2017, de Blasio says The city spent about $1.1 billion last year financing the affordable housing program, bringing the total to $3.3 billion since 2014. Mayor de Blasio watches as Jasper Hurst, 79, signs a lease on a below-market-rate apartment in Cypress Hills Senior Housing Residences on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin By Matthew Chayes firstname.lastname@example.org @chayesmatthew Updated January 17, 2018 7:18 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email The New York City government financed nearly 25,000 apartments last year at rent below the market rate, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday, topping a record set nearly 30 years ago. The record-setting number for 2017 was 24,536 “affordable homes,” about half of which were to house families living on less than $43,000, de Blasio said. “We came here four years ago, we understood there was an affordability crisis that had to be confronted and would take a very big and ambitious plan to address it,” he said in Brooklyn. “The mandate was clear. So many people in this city feared displacement. I heard it wherever I went, and they were looking for solutions.” The city spent about $1.1 billion last year to finance the program, which aims to preserve or create apartments for New Yorkers who can’t afford the market-rate rent. The mayor has spent about $3.3 billion since taking office on the effort. The previous record was 23,131, set in 1989 under Mayor Ed Koch’s housing blitz. De Blasio has promised 300,000 such apartments over 12 years, either created or preserved, meaning the unit would have otherwise gone to market rate rent. New Yorkers who want to sign up for a below-market-rate apartment lottery can call 3-1-1, de Blasio said, or sign up on his administration’s NYC Housing Connect website. At Tuesday’s announcement, 79-year-old Jasper Hurst signed a lease with the mayor present. Hurst came to the city from North Carolina at 17 and will turn 80 in October. By Matthew Chayes email@example.com @chayesmatthew Matthew Chayes, a Newsday reporter since 2007, covers New York City Hall. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.