Mayor announces reforms to speed up affordable housing development in NYC

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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Mayor announces reforms to speed up affordable housing development
Mayor Eric Adams has announced more than 100 reforms to speed of the development of affordable housing in NYC. CeFaan Kim has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams has announced more than 100 reforms to speed of the development of affordable housing in New York City.

With the cost of rent and owning a home skyrocketing in the city, coupled with an acute housing shortage, the mayor is taking aim at what he calls the bureaucratic red tape holding back development.

"Most new residential buildings that require zoning approvals or receive public financing are required to conduct a formal environmental review," Adams said. "We're going except small housing projects from that review, we're also going to shorten the time it takes the city agencies to review new housing and other development proposals."

Adams says the reforms could lead to 50,000 new homes over the next 10 years.

Adams says the average household now needs double their income to afford an apartment in the city.

In the last decade, the population grew by 800,000 but only 200,000 homes were added.

"If we enact all 111 reforms, we cut the time in half for a project to get from environmental review to actually permitted with people in them, and we're saving about $2 billion," said Maria Torres-Springer, deputy mayor for economic and workforce development.

Fourteen of the reforms will require approval from the City Council, like rewriting the city's building code.

Councilmembers often face pushback from constituents toward developers, and the mayor has previously sided with landlords.

A board controlled by the mayor this year delivered the highest increase to rent-stabilized tenants in almost a decade.

Council leaders reacted to the mayor's proposal in a statement saying, "a set of ideas focused on increasing the pace of development to confront the affordable housing shortage while simultaneously understaffing and eliminating positions at DOB, HPD, and the agencies required to do the work will not move us forward."

The mayor says the proposed reforms will ultimately help renters by creating more supply, and therefore lower costs.

Gov. Kathy Hochul released the following statement after the mayor's announcement:

"I applaud this announcement from Mayor Adams and the Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Task Force paving the way for faster, simpler housing production in New York City and transformative, transit-oriented development in the Bronx. New York has become the place where workers and businesses want to be, but limited housing supply and a lack of affordability are costing far too many New Yorkers their 'New York Dream.' With our state staring down a housing crisis, we will need every community, every town, and every city to do its part to make housing accessible and affordable for all. My administration is ready to meet the housing crisis head-on in partnership with Mayor Adams and other local and state officials, and I look forward to sharing our proposals to unlock New York's housing potential in my State of the State address."

ALSO READ | NYC Council Committee holds hearing on bill ending tenant criminal background checks

Janice Yu reports on today's committee hearing at NY City Hall.


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