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

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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

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