Press Releases

New York Built 185,000 Units of Multifamily Housing from 2010-2020

June 6th 2022

Nearly 3 in 10 Units Built Targeted to Low-Income Households

New York - The NYU Furman Center released The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2021 today, an annual analysis of the city’s demographics, housing markets, renters, and 59 community districts. This year, the report’s Focus Chapter explores the Geography of Housing Development over the last decade, mapping market-rate construction and subsidized affordable housing that has been built across the city. Over 185,000 multifamily (4+) units were added to the City’s housing stock between 2010 and 2020, with nearly 3 in 10 of those units targeted for low-income households (defined as earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income). Read the full State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2021 report.

“This analysis provides key context for the Mayor’s forthcoming housing plan,” said Matt Murphy, Executive Director of the NYU Furman Center. “Understanding how previous regulatory changes and housing subsidies shaped the City’s growth over the last decade is crucial for charting an equitable path in the next 10 years.”

Patterns of new development over the last decade mirror existing racial and economic disparities. New income-restricted units targeted to low-income households and financed through Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) or City capital dollars were built in neighborhoods with higher Black and Hispanic population shares, higher poverty rates, and lower sales prices and rents than the neighborhoods where market- rate units were constructed. But units targeted to low-income households built using the 421-a tax exemption only were located in neighborhoods similar to those of market-rate units.

“Policymakers have long been challenged to balance public investments in poorer neighborhoods with creating housing opportunities in higher cost areas,” said Ingrid Gould Ellen, Faculty Director of the NYU Furman Center. “The data over the last decade illustrates that different policy tools have spurred affordable housing developments in very different neighborhoods.”

Allowed density also plays a major role in new construction and affordability. Close to two-thirds of new income-restricted units targeted to low-income households were built in buildings with 100 units or more, while less than a tenth were in buildings smaller than 50 units. And almost 90 percent of new units in multifamily buildings were located on lots with high density residential zoning. Nearly a third of all new units constructed during the last decade were built in areas and lots upzoned during the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations, even though those areas only included about three percent of the city’s parcels. The report also shows a high share of new multifamily units were built in the 2020 100-year floodplain; 18.2 percent of new market rate units and 13.6 percent of units targeted to low-income households were built in areas with a high risk of flooding.

“Our analysis shows the importance of land use rules that allow dense, multifamily development, which is more environmentally sustainable, less car dependent, and better able to support the vibrant cultural and other amenities for which New York is known than lower density development” said Vicki Been, Faculty Director of the NYU Furman Center. “Nearly a third of the new homes built over the last decade were built in areas in which zoning had been made less restrictive in recent years.”

In addition to the deep analysis of new housing development, the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods also includes annual snapshots of the city’s demographics, rental market, and homeownership trends. Housing code violations rose to the highest level recorded since 2007, and eviction filings also increased between 2020 and 2021, though they remain at roughly a third of average pre-pandemic levels. Data shows that the share of pre-foreclosure notices more than 120 days delinquent increased markedly, a concerning warning given rising mortgage rates and unemployment that remains above the national average.

The report also updates a detailed set of neighborhood-level data for each of New York’s 59 Community Districts, as well as boroughwide aggregations. Each Community District and Borough profile contains longitudinal metrics about demographics, housing development, housing finance, neighborhood conditions, and other indicators that form the foundation of much of the Furman Center’s research and analysis. Dive into the numbers at