AIA New York Statement of Support for Governor Hochul’s New York Housing Compact
The American Institute of Architects New York (AIA New York) is expressing its strong support for Governor Hochul’s “New York Housing Compact.” The Compact is intended to create 800,000 new units over the next decade, helping New York reduce its significant housing deficit and creating countless new jobs. The lack of housing construction has caused home prices and rents to skyrocket, making the state unaffordable to many New Yorkers.
No single policy change will provide the housing New York needs, which is why the Governor’s multi-prong effort is so laudable. The establishment of Local housing targets, promotion of transit-oriented development, adjustment of the Multiple Dwelling Law and FAR cap, legalization of ADUs in NYC, and replacement of 421a will go far towards achieving the Governor’s ambitious goal. These policies should be prioritized to ensure sufficient housing is created in a timely manner.
While the Governor is strongly supportive of building new housing, greater policy changes are needed to incentivize the improvement of dilapidated existing housing and vacant housing. New York City alone has up to 90,000 vacant rent-stabilized units, and bringing those units back into the market would go far towards hitting the Governor’s 800,000-unit goal. A number of policies should be enacted in Albany to enable this, including a replacement for the J-51 tax abatement, a “rent reset” to cover the cost of retrofitting currently vacant units, and property tax reform to reduce the disproportionate burden on multifamily building owners.
A cohesive set of policy proposals to simultaneously spur the creation of new housing and the improvement of existing housing is the best path forward. This is the most effective means of creating new housing, as well as ensuring those vacant units are retrofitted and affordable. Architects applaud the Governor’s Compact and look forward to working with her to create more housing as quickly as possible.