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69% of New Yorkers vote for Guaranteed Inclusionary Zoning

August 26, 2013

Crain's poll:  69% of New Yorkers vote for more affordable housing.   


Affordable Housing Development needs two things in order to work: 
Affordability and Development. Throughout the Bloomberg administration, 
New York has done a great job of incentivizing development. More new 
multifamily housing units - about 60,000 - have been built in the last eight
years than in the entire 1970s and 80s combined.

But we haven't been as good at incentivizing affordability. Even with the New Housing Marketplace, most of the newly constructed units are market-rate luxury housing. And of our affordable units, only 2/3 are actually unaffordable for the average person in the neighborhood Click here for ANHD's Real Affordability report.

One of the tools we have to incentivize both development and affordability is our zoning authority. We spur development by upzoning a neighborhood to let developers build taller and denser buildings. We can also increase affordability by having affordable housing be part of what's developed in these newly rezoned neighborhoods. In 2005, ANHD worked to institute a Voluntary Inclusionary Zoning program  to do just that - incentivize both affordability and development. But once again, we've done a lot better with the "development" part. In fact, less than 3% of the Multifamily housing developed since 2005 has been affordable inclusionary housing. Clearly we need to do more. By 2.23 to 1 margin in a Crain's online poll that's still accepting votes, New Yorkers supported the idea of guaranteeing the affordable housing in inclusionary zones, saying that since an up-zoning increases profits for developers, they in turn should have to include units for people with modest incomes. New York now has one of the strongest housing markets in the country. We no longer have to incentivize and subsidize development at all costs, the way we did in 1970s and 80s - we now need to focus on the affordable part of affordable housing development. Our ability to guarantee the affordable housing we incentivize in newly upzoned areas is one of the best tools at our disposal, and one New Yorkers think we need to start using. 

Blogger - Moses Gates

ANHD blog team:  Benjamin Dulchin, Moses Gates, Ericka Stallings, Jaime Weisberg, Barika Williams. Anne Troy, editor.

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