Tackling New York City’s Housing Crisis is a "Shared Responsibility"

Blog post by Ben Hitchcock, Shannon Flores, Elizabeth Miller
February 13, 2024

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy   (New York)

Top New York City officials urged state leaders in Albany to provide the necessary funding and legislative support to build additional housing as the city contends with its worst housing crunch in over 50 years

"We are facing a dire housing shortage,” said Adrienne Adams, City Council Speaker at the NYU Furman Center’s Policy Breakfast event Feb. 7.  “We need our state partners to be involved. We need their buy-in—literally, their buy-in—to what we’re doing.” 

The plea from decision-makers comes as New York City’s vacancy rate has dropped to 1.4 percent—the lowest mark since 1986, according to the latest NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey released last Thursday. The rate fell from 4.54 percent over a two-year period, yet another sign that supply has failed to keep up with the demands of the city’s housing needs.

For now, lawmakers like Adams are hopeful that two new packages of laws—the City Council’s Fair Housing Framework and Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed City of Yes for Housing Opportunity plan—will work in tandem to fairly and equitably produce new housing across the city and ensure every single neighborhood contributes to solving the city’s acute housing crisis.

The Framework aims to enshire fair housing into law to ensure that every New Yorker has equal and fair housing. It also creates a plan for growth guided by equity to ensure all communities fairly contribute to the city’s housing needs and housing that built is accessible to all.

"The way these two requirements will play out is that they work very well hand in hand,” Leila Bozorg, Mayor Adams’ newly appointed Executive Director for Housing, said at the event. “Fair housing requires a big tent.” 

"The federal government has put a stake in the ground by continuing to call for these fair housing plans across the country,” she added. “The City Council has put a stake in the ground that is now codified locally and is requiring setting actual targets to meet various types of housing needs across the city. And frankly, we’re going to continue to make calls for Albany to play their part in this effort.”