How New York Suburbs Are Tackling the Housing Crisis

Some small cities are proposing zoning code reforms and new taxes to address the growing housing shortage in the greater New York area.

Read Time: 1 minute

October 27, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Downtown Kingston, New York with historic four-story buildings

Brian Logan Photography / Kingston, New York

Writing in New York Focus, Sam Mellins examines the housing shortage facing New York suburbs, and how some communities are working to address it.

As Mellins points out, “In the 2010s, New York’s suburbs in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island built three times less housing per capita than the city’s New Jersey suburbs, thanks largely to restrictive zoning regulations.” Now, some are changing how they view growth and acknowledging the growing affordability crisis. 

Mellins provides some examples, such as Kingston, which is completely rewriting its zoning code. “Kingston is seeking to enable the creation of new housing stock through a citywide rezoning that will eliminate nearly all single family-only housing zones in the city; abolish parking minimums, which frequently limit space available for housing; and place restrictions on short-term rentals like Airbnbs.” Kingston also passed a rent stabilization ordinance this year which will affect renters in roughly ten percent of its housing units.

In the Hamptons, where permanent residents struggle to find affordable housing, “On November 8, locals will vote on one proposed response: a half-percent tax on high-value home sales. The money would go to a fund reserved for affordable housing projects or financial assistance for first-time homebuyers.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 in New York Focus


The Top Urban Planning Books of 2022

An annual list of the must-read books related to urban planning and its intersecting fields.

November 28, 2022 - James Brasuell

The  Rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux is crowded with pedestrians in a lively European scene.

European Cities Act on Density

The sprawling mass of suburbia has been a disaster for the environment. But now smaller, denser cities herald a renaissance in city living.

November 20, 2022 - Wired Magazine

Victorian two-story buildings with retail shops in downtown Nashvile, Tennessee

Nashville Sets Downtown Parking Maximums

Nashville is the latest city to enact a substantive change to the parking requirements set by the city’s zoning code—doing away with parking minimums and setting parking maximums in the city’s Urban Zoning Overlay.

November 20, 2022 - The Tennessean

Dark parking garage, empty except for one car covered with a red tarp

Advice for a Post-Parking Mandate World

After abolishing parking requirements, what can cities do to make the most of new space and revenue and avoid backlash?

November 29 - Next City

View of park ranger with tan hat from behind, ranger looking out at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Western Voters: Yes to Conservation, No to Extremism

Voters in Western states generally favored candidates who support public land conservation in this November’s election and rejected extremist rhetoric.

November 29 - High Country News

The Boring Company

Detailing the Boring Company’s Poor Track Record

Elon Musk’s promised solution for congestion—the Boring Co.—has proven most successful at disappearing on the governments that trusted them.

November 29 - The Wall Street Journal

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.