Cardinal Timothy Dolan sees the building and preservation of affordable housing as God's work, he said Tuesday during a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Dolan spoke about homes for low- to middle-income New Yorkers as well as emergency homeless shelters at City Hall with administration officials.
"We still got some meat and potatoes to work out, but I think it's a go," the cardinal said of housing initiatives, according to a transcript provided by the mayor's office Wednesday. "And if you ask me, I don't have a choice because Jesus told me to do this. I didn't need the mayor to tell me to do this."
City and Archdiocese of New York officials have discussed leveraging properties in the archdiocese's portfolio for affordable housing and emergency shelters.
"We want them to be used for the mission of the church -- namely for teaching, education, health care, housing, charity -- and this fits in," Dolan said Tuesday.
He added of de Blasio: "He and I work for the same people, namely God's people, the people of this city, and they've told us this is an urgent need. Let's do it."
"Amen, beautifully said," the mayor said.
De Blasio has described himself as a spiritual person and voiced his admiration of Pope Francis' commitment to the poor and combating income inequality, but he is not a practicing Catholic.
De Blasio and Dolan together broke ground in December on a $20 million affordable housing complex for seniors in the Bronx's Highbridge section. The development is funded by the federal, state and city governments, with construction partially managed by the archdiocese.