New York State is facing a housing affordability crisis after many decades in which the shortage of new homes and apartments worsened while incomes didn’t keep pace with rising rents. While some of the state’s local governments have worked to increase the supply of housing and assist families facing housing insecurity, many have lacked the resources or political will to respond. The housing shortage and resulting affordability crisis are affecting the state’s desirability for both residents and businesses. Governor Kathy Hochul has made housing affordability a key priority, and New York lawmakers are poised to consider a slate of different housing issues in the upcoming budget and legislative session. Traditionally, New York State has left most land use decisions to its local governments, but as states across the country are responding to similar housing shortages by taking a more active role in land use matters, Governor Hochul, along with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and several other mayors, some state legislators, and many housing and land use experts and advocates have called for the state to intervene more directly to ensure that every city, town, and village across the state is contributing to meeting New York’s housing needs.
To help policymakers, the media, and residents evaluate those proposals, the NYU Furman Center published this series of policy briefs to rigorously examine key housing issues facing legislators and to explore evidence about the efficacy of different policy interventions under consideration.
We are grateful to the Robin Hood Foundation for supporting this series on New York State's Housing agenda.
This brief introduces the series, and examines some high level statistics on housing needs in New York State and its cities.
Encouraging Transit-Oriented Development
This brief aims to help the state consider strategies to promote TOD by examining how the proposals introduced during the last session and in Governor Hochul’s 2023 State of the State message compare to legislation other jurisdictions have adopted or considered.
A State-Level Rent Voucher Program
This brief aims to help inform policymakers about the potential costs and benefits of a state-level rent voucher program.
Allowing More and Different Types of Housing
This brief aims to assess how lessons learned from the adoption of strategies to incentivize new housing in other states can help New York’s policymakers consider which strategies may prove most useful to address New York’s housing crisis.
2022 Brief: The Case Against Restrictive Land Use and Zoning
This policy brief broadly lays out the drawbacks of restrictive land use, then reviews the current state of New York’s zoning and explains the need for state intervention.
2022 Brief: Models and Questions to Reform Exclusionary Zoning in New York
Most of New York’s peer states have stepped in to promote inclusive housing development. Their experiences can inform the choices of New York policymakers as they seek to solve New York’s housing crisis.