Op-Ed: New York Needs a Needs a Housing Breakthrough

The region has taken some steps to address the critical housing shortage, but alleviating the crisis requires a more comprehensive, statewide effort to build new housing, increase affordability, and prevent displacement.

2 minute read

January 1, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


New York Housing

stockelements / Shutterstock

New York City is famously unaffordable, and a lack of housing in the surrounding suburbs is exacerbating the crisis, writes Annemarie Gray in City and State NY. “NYU’s Furman Center found that ‘New York’s suburbs are failing to build any significant amount of housing,’ as Long Island permitted barely 3,000 new homes per year over the last two decades, while Westchester and the Hudson Valley permitted under 5,000 new homes per year.”

Put simply, we need a breakthrough on a comprehensive statewide strategy that sets clear expectations for where and how much we need to build housing, with every neighborhood, county, and town playing its part. We need mechanisms to greenlight projects that clearly deserve swift approval, so they don’t get slowed or blocked by political battles or redundant reviews.

According to Gray, the contentious politics of building new housing in the region are starting to shift as the crisis grows more dire. “Under the weight of crushing rents, it’s becoming good politics for elected officials to get to yes on housing.” 

But “The past year’s housing victories amount to a drop in the bucket of what’s needed,” Gray asserts. “New York needs a holistic approach to addressing housing opportunity that puts rapidly increasing supply at the center, while simultaneously protecting existing tenants, fighting housing discrimination, and growing the government’s long-term capacity to provide better models of housing stability.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2022 in City and State New York

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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.