New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan is good for density, transit access, and the environment — but will it deliver the 80,000 units of new affordable housing he’s promised?

The city is in the midst of a housing crisis. The statistics are striking: In 2012, more than one million households in New York City spent at least 30 percent of their annual income on housing and were officially considered “rent burdened.” Since 2009, the median gross rent has increased faster than median renter income. The picture only darkens when we consider that there are nearly one million households in the city classified as “very low income” or “extremely low income,” and there are only 420,000 units in the entire city that won’t stretch their budgets beyond the rent-burdened threshold.

De Blasio’s plan to add 80,000 units of newly constructed affordable housing over the next decade centers around generous (though unspecified) financial incentives and new zoning regulations to induce developers to build bigger buildings with set-asides of between 25 and 30 percent for affordable units. Similar to President Obama with his health-care overhaul, de Blasio has shunned the “public option” — public housing built and maintained by the city of New York — and pursued a market-based approach that seeks to motivate the private sector to do his bidding.