City of Yes Housing Recommendation

Tackling New York’s affordable housing crisis by bringing our zoning code into the 21st century.

Today, more than half of New Yorkers are paying more than 30% of their income in rent. There are bidding wars for rental apartments. Affordable housing developments with 170 units receive 80,000 tenant applications. It’s never been more clear that New York is in an affordable housing crisis.

Month after month, demand for housing far outstrips supply, and the city’s anemic rate of housing production is barely making a dent.

Our biggest obstacle is entirely homegrown: a zoning code from 1961 that makes it far too difficult for us to build the housing New Yorkers desperately need. Our current zoning code makes it hard to convert vacant office buildings to residences. It prioritizes construction of parking over apartments. It leaves little housing next to some transit hubs and prevents apartments from being built on top of stores in commercial districts. And worst of all: It does too little to ensure the construction of affordable homes.

But we’re on the verge of making the change New Yorkers need.  Known as the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity, this proposal from the NYC Department of City Planning would update and streamline zoning regulations in order to promote the creation of housing and affordable housing.

These changes would create additional housing in Manhattan so that more of us can stay here and add housing around the boroughs to help relieve the affordability crisis that is afflicting people in Manhattan and every corner of our city.

It’s time for New York to become a City of Yes.



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