Manhattan BP Levine Announces Ambitious 2024 Albany Housing Agenda To Address NYC’s Affordability Crisis

February 9, 2024

 Today, the Manhattan Borough President today unveiled a  blueprint aimed at tackling New York City’s unprecedented housing shortage.

As rents soar and housing production dwindles, the plan calls for critical action from Albany to accelerate new housing developments and help keep vulnerable tenants in their homes.

Recognizing the vital role of state powers in tax policy, residential density regulations, housing courts, and rent control, the Borough President urges state legislators to adopt an ambitious package of eight housing policies.

These measures are designed to boost housing production, ensure tenant protections, and make significant strides towards resolving the city’s housing challenges.

Read the 2024 Albany Housing Agenda:

Key Initiatives Include:

Replacing the 421-a Tax Exemption: To counter the dramatic decline in housing production following the expiration of the 421-a program, a new and improved version is proposed to stimulate construction, ensuring deep affordability and labor protections.

Facilitating Office Conversions: Leveraging the pandemic-induced surplus of office space, a new tax abatement program is suggested to transform vacant offices into housing, emphasizing affordability.

Lifting the 12 FAR Cap: Advocating for the removal of outdated restrictions on residential development density to allow for more housing in Manhattan’s densest areas.

Streamlining Environmental Review: Proposing exemptions for 100% affordable housing projects from extensive environmental review processes to speed up development.

Ensure landlords can only evict tenants for good cause: Introducing limits on rent increases and strengthening tenant protections against arbitrary, retaliatory, or discriminatory evictions.

Expanding Access to Rent Vouchers: Establishing a statewide rental subsidy program to assist low-income families and individuals in securing stable housing.

Expanding Right to Counsel Statewide: Building on NYC’s successful program to provide legal representation for tenants facing eviction, proposing a statewide expansion.

Strengthening Right to Counsel in NYC: Increasing funding for tenant legal services to ensure that no tenant faces eviction without legal support.

The Borough President emphasizes the urgency of adopting these policies ahead of the April 1st State budget deadline, committing to an energetic campaign to advance this agenda. 

“The New York City government alone cannot end the housing emergency our neighbors are facing every day,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “The State will be key to ending our city’s affordability crisis. From building more apartments to making rent affordable again, we need our partners in Albany to enact key housing legislation.”

The Borough President calls on all stakeholders, including legislators, community leaders, and residents, to support this transformative housing agenda. Together, we can make a lasting impact on New York City’s housing affordability crisis.

Photo credit: Source.

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