In case you were wondering why Bill de Blasio was suddenly trending on your Twitter timeline, today was the State of the City address. You might think that it’s just a boring speech for nerds, and maybe you’re right. There were a couple notes of interest for you in this year’s speech though. For one, de Blasio wants to build 1,500 units of affordable artist housing/workspace. He also threw down the gauntlet and asked Albany to raise New York City’s minimum wage to $13 and to index it to inflation.
The affordable artist housing was first reported by WNYC, and it was confirmed by de Blasio in his speech. The plan calls for 1,500 affordable housing/workspace units for artists, similar to the PS 109 affordable housing that was taking applications last year. 1,500 units sounds nice, until you remember that 53,000 people applied for just 89 units, so good luck avoiding that panic. According to WNYC, the mayor’s plan is to focus on building 150 units of workspace and housing per year through 2024, so just keep holding on by your fingernails if you miss out when the applications start being taken.
Of course, if the mayor has any luck up in Albany raising the minimum wage, maybe you won’t need to hold on quite as tightly. The other proposal of note for brokesters in the State of the City was to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13/hour by 2016, and index it to inflation, which the mayor said would give us a $15/hour minimum wage by 2019. That goes way above Andrew Cuomo’s proposal for a minimum wage of $11.50/hour for the city and all depends on de Blasio working the levers of power and influence in Albany. Levers sticky with and rusted by the awful juices of corrupt Albany legislators, so don’t go spending like some kind of minimum wage king just yet.