This Studio seeks to reframe housing policy in New York City, to better meet the needs of current and future residents. Today, housing is unaffordable to far too many New Yorkers. In 2010, over half of all New York City renters were rent-burdened (paying more than 30% of their household income in rent), and about a third were severely rent-burdened (paying more than 50% of their household income in rent). Further, New York City’s population is growing–while housing that is affordable to low and middle-income New Yorkers continues to decrease. The New York City Department of City Planning has projected an additional one million residents by 2030. Therefore, New York City must create an additional 318,500 housing units in the next eighteen years–a rate of production the City has never achieved. Further, 95,550 units will be needed for New York City’s lowest income families.
Housing policies in New York City have increasingly over-commodified the production and distribution of housing, shifting the focus from the residents’ needs. In addition, housing policy in New York City is not integrated into a comprehensive planning process. The Studio recommends that New York City rethink housing policy by:
- Limiting the over-commodification of housing by strengthening existing programs, including rent regulation
- Increasing housing production by reducing development costs and creating a new/evolved transfer of development rights program
- Implementing housing preservation and housing production through a comprehensive and community-based planning process
The Studio envisions safe, comfortable, and affordable housing for all New Yorkers–an outcome that can only be achieved through a participatory planning process.