How Much Affordable Housing has NYC's Inclusionary Zoning Created?
New Reports: NYC’s Inclusionary Zoning Program Must be Changed from Voluntary to Guaranteed, Expanded Citywide to Stem Affordability Shortage
The voluntary program, started in 2005, has generated
affordable housing on Manhattan’s West Side and
in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, but very little anywhere else.
Today, the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) and Council Member Brad Lander released two reports that review the effectiveness of New York City’s inclusionary zoning (IZ) program. The reports recommend converting the program from voluntary to guaranteed, and expanding the program citywide.
Since New York City’s IZ program was created in 2005, inclusionary zoning produced the construction or preservation of over 2,769 affordable housing units – but just two neighborhoods have reaped the majority of those benefits. While many other US cities’ IZ programs require 10, 15 or 20% of new multifamily housing to be affordable, New York City’s voluntary, incentive-based inclusionary zoning program has only generated 2% of all multifamily units built since 2005.
Council Member Brad Lander released his report, “Creating Affordable Housing through Inclusionary Zoning in New York City,” that reviews the performance of the program from its inception in 2005. ANHD released their white paper, “Guaranteed Inclusionary Zoning: Ensuring Affordability is a part New York City’s Future,” that lays out a road map for the next administration to create significant affordable housing through a citywide, guaranteed inclusionary zoning program.
New York City’s current IZ program, a voluntary, incentive-based program, gives developers the option to build affordable housing in designated areas of New York City. If a developer agrees to make a certain number of the units affordable in their development (or to create or preserve affordable housing elsewhere in the community), they are allowed to build more than zoning would otherwise allow, and in many cases receive a tax break and other City subsidies.
The Lander report finds that:
- The program has generated 2,769 affordable housing units since 2005.
- On the West Side & the Brooklyn waterfront, inclusionary zoning program has proven to be an effective and efficient means of generating affordable housing units.
- However, outside of those two areas, very few inclusionary housing units were created, even where there was significant development.
- Overall, inclusionary zoning represents less than 2% of all multifamily building permit applications in New York City during these years.