Affordable housing is essential to creating a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable New York for all of the city’s residents. Because everything is connected, and the character of New York City is dependent on the built environment, affordable housing is an important place to start. Building more appropriately affordable housing in all neighborhoods, will help us integrate neighborhoods, which will help unravel the issues associated with our very segregated schools system. It will put people closer to jobs and make mass transit more efficient.
Permanently integrate affordable, sustainable housing
Ensure equitable distribution of affordable housing across the city
Legalize and enable Accessory Dwelling Units
Integrating affordable housing in NYC developments is key to a resilient future. A Comprehensive Planning process to tie neighborhood decisions to long term vision for the city will help implement an equitable citywide affordable housing policy.
Integrating affordable housing in NYC developments is key to a resilient future. New York City must implement a comprehensive planning process that balances community and citywide needs to meet the challenges of the district. The inequalities and poor planning of the city have led to disproportionate housing and health environments for Black and Brown communities.
This will require some changes to ULURP (The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure).
This will require changes to ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) to elevate the importance and priority of community engagement. Today, communities are not engaged by City Planning until long after the developer and City Planning have been working on a project together. This gives an artificial us-versus-them feeling to the conversations and negotiations. Changing the ULURP order of events - by engaging the community with City Planning at the same time as the developer engages will create better relationships and better outcomes for the community. It is also a point where the City Council person can use their position to request more of the right affordable housing units. Other considerations for more sustainable affordable housing include flexibility around parking mandates, connecting development more directly with transit zones and real ways to engage the community in the process to avoid gentrification.
Affordable housing needs to be part of every community citywide to create vital, diverse, dense, and strong neighborhoods.
In order to dismantle historical injustices that have reinforced socio-economic disparities, and undo the negative impacts of historically redlined districts and the harms of exclusionary zoning, we need to support affordable housing in every corner of the city. This includes areas that have been averse and vocal opponents.
Affordable housing that is integrated into wealthier neighborhoods is actually more cost effective for the city. Those units require less tax-payer dollar subsidy.
Legalizing accessory dwelling units is a straightforward way to increase density in a way that does not initially impact the community feel.
Accessory dwellings units are secondary spaces that are connected with a larger property or house and can be converted into livable space, such as “in-law units,” garage conversions, or basement apartments. There are a lot of regulatory hurdles in the way of a homeowner legalizing the unit. But if we pull down those barriers, homeowners have a pathway to more income, and neighborhoods can increase density without changing their character. Revisiting the Basement Apartment Pilot Program will provide financing and technical assistance for homeowners to turn basements into livable spaces, ensuring more affordable housing for New York residents. And when the units are legal, tenants enjoy many of the legal statewide protections, as well.
Accessory dwelling units can also support families, as people can provide homes for loved ones or care providers, or allow seniors to age in place without major upheaval of their lives and homes.