Rising rents and stagnating incomes have led to an unprecedented affordable housing shortage in New York City. To address these challenges, Mayor de Blasio released an ambitious housing agenda in 2014 that set forth a multi-pronged, ten-year plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. However, the administration faces numerous challenges that could impede the completion of its goal.  
The NYU Furman Center's five-part series, Housing for an Inclusive New York: Affordable Housing Strategies for a High-Cost City, explores the challenges of providing affordable housing in New York City. The series explores five key issues: mandatory inclusionary zoning; the tradeoffs involved in developing on underused NYCHA land; the challenge of preserving affordable rents in unsubsidized housing; the reform of the 421-a tax exemption; and the preservation of subsidized housing. The series aims to provide data and policy analysis to inform policymaking and contribute to the public debate on these central issues.

  • 1. Creating Affordable Housing Out of Thin Air

    The Economics of Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning in New York City

    The first part of the series  examines the economic potential of a mandatory inclusionary zoning policy to produce new affordable units tied to upzonings across New York City’s neighborhoods.

  • 2. Building New or Preserving the Old?

    The Affordable Housing Tradeoffs of Developing on NYCHA Land

    The second part of the series finds that in neighborhoods with high rents, leasing underdeveloped NYCHA-owned land for private development could generate either substantial annual lease payments for NYCHA or significant numbers of affordable units.

  • 3. The Challenge of Rising Rents

    Exploring Whether a New Tax Benefit Could Help Keep Unsubsidized Rental Units Affordable

    The third part of the series examines the importance of unsubsidized multifamily buildings as a source of low-rent housing in the city, and considers whether the city could offer a benefit to protect affordability in this stock. 

  • 4. The Latest Legislative Reform of the 421-a Tax Exemption

    A Look at Possible Outcomes

    The fourth brief in the series examines the possible impacts of the new 421-a legislation on residential development in New York City’s neighborhoods.