New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on Monday called for the creation of 40,000 new middle-income apartments over 10 years.

In her state of the city speech, Quinn, a likely candidate for mayor this year, called the would-be undertaking the biggest middle-income housing construction program since the Mitchell-Lama program, created in 1955.

“We have no greater challenge or obligation to the families we represent than to tackle this problem head on and deliver results. The future of our city depends on it,” Quinn said.

Quinn also announced a pilot program for turning existing high-end market rate housing into affordable units. Under her proposal, in exchange for setting aside a number of units as affordable middle-income housing, property taxes for buildings in this pilot program would be capped at a fixed percent of the building’s rental income.

She attached no price tag to any of her proposals.

Term limits prohibit incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg from seeking re-election.

Citing a City Council report just issued on the middle class in the city, Quinn noted the middle class unemployment rate is 6.2%, three times higher than before the economic collapse Quinn proposed the city approach economic development throughout the five boroughs differently, focusing on each community.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.