Shaun Donovan and Ray McGuire, two candidates in the race for New York City mayor, drastically underestimated the median price of homes in Brooklyn during interviews with The New York Times editorial board published Tuesday.
McGuire, a former Citigroup executive, guessed that homes in the borough cost “somewhere in the $80,000 to $90,000 range.” Donovan, who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, replied with “around $100,000.”
The actual median home price in Brooklyn is around $900,000, according to real estate appraisers.
The incorrect responses have spurred criticism that neither man knows enough about the lives of everyday people to lead the nation’s most populated city, especially since rising housing costs have created a crisis for low- and middle-class residents. (People also mocked Donovan’s explanation for his incorrect answer ― that he “misinterpreted the question.”)
Andrew Yang, a tech industry businessman also vying for the nomination, was criticized in February when he made an out-of-touch comment about his family moving away from New York City during the pandemic.
“Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” Yang said in an interview at the time. Many families in the city live in cramped housing, often sharing small apartments with several family members.
Yang, however, correctly answered the editorial board’s question about the median housing price in Brooklyn.
The Democratic primary began with a crowded field, but fewer than 10 candidates now have a viable shot at winning.