by: Bria Donahue
In 2024, AIA New York will be focused on advocating for state and city policies on housing, sustainability, transportation and infrastructure, public realm, and government agencies, policies, and rules. (Read AIANY’s 2024 Legislative Agenda.) Our advocacy efforts will be centered on achieving five policy goals:
1. Increasing affordable housing supply by allowing alternative solutions (ie. office to residential conversions, accessory dwelling units) and zoning changes
2. Effectively implementing the electrification laws passed in recent years at the state and city level (ie. Local Law 97, All-Electric Buildings Act, Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act)
3. Securing funding for the city’s infrastructure projects (ex: Penn Station Redevelopment, Second Ave Subway) and maintaining a state-of-good repairs
4. Rethinking how we manage the public realm and utilize space (specifically, outdoor dining, containerization, public bathrooms)
5. Improving procurement practices and accessibility for MWBE and small firms
AIANY was thrilled to see a number of our 2024 legislative priorities included in Governor Hochul’s State of the State and Fiscal Year 2025 Executive Budget. The priorities that Governor Hochul laid out in her proposals have the potential to make significant impact on New Yorkers lives and are a meaningful step forward towards tackling the affordability and housing crises. The Governor’s proposals align with AIANY’s agenda as follows:
- Office to Residential Conversions – The Governor proposed enacting a tax incentive for conversion projects that include below market housing.
- FAR Cap – The Governor proposed providing NYC with the ability to undertake local land use review processes to allow for denser residential development where appropriate.
- 421a – The Governor proposed both extending the expired 421a program’s completion deadline and replace 421a with a new program that contains requirements pertaining to below market housing and wage standards for both building service and construction workers.
- Basement Apartment – The Governor proposed creating a pathway to legalize basement dwellings by giving NYC local authority to provide amnesty by local law for existing basement units that meet health and safety standards to be determined by the city.
- NY HEAT Act – The Governor proposed the Affordable Gas Transition Act, which includes the 100-foot rule but does not include the 6% cap on utility costs for low and moderate income households.
Transportation and Infrastructure
- Invest in Transit – The Governor included the Interborough Expressway project and extending the Second Avenue Subway westward on 125th Street in the State of the State and FY25 Executive Budget.
Government Agencies, Policies and Rules
- Streamline and Modernize SEQRA – The Governor directed DEC to identify efficiencies in its SEQR regulations to promote environmentally friendly housing growth.