Speaker Adam’s Fair Housing Plan Will Help Address Housing Crisis

September 27, 2023

Chair Pierina Ana Sanchez
Subcommittee on Housing and Buildings

Chair Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Subcommittee on Land Use

New York City Council

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Re: Speaker Adam’s Fair Housing Planning Bill | Int 1031-2023

Dear Chair Sanchez, Chair Salamanca Jr., and Subcommittee Members:

Thank you for this opportunity to provide testimony regarding the Fair Housing Framework legislation.

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) supports the Fair Housing Framework legislation as a significant step in addressing our city’s urgent housing crisis.

The Fair Housing Framework incorporates the principles of comprehensive planning, which is something MAS, alongside the Thriving Communities Coalition, has long advocated for to facilitate future decision-making and long-term citywide goals. Comprehensive planning encourages meaningful public dialogue about trade-offs and benefits within a holistic citywide land use plan.

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exterior of New York City's City Hall
City Hall in New York City. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Paul Hermans. Modifications: photo cropped and made black and white.

MAS supports comprehensive planning to actively utilize community engagement and create a shared citywide vision for an equitable distribution of affordable housing. Comprehensive planning is critical to strategizing a balance of citywide goals with community needs and is necessary to confront our city’s worsening housing crisis and undermining existing inequities.

The proposed targeted citywide housing production goals from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Department of City Planning (DCP) will advance equity in the city’s housing goals. Utilization of the Equitable Development Data Explorer tool would be valuable in constructing metrics for citywide housing targets. MAS, alongside the Racial Impact Study Coalition, advocated for the creation of this tool to provide public data on equity and disparities across the city.

We encourage the City Council to also consider innovative incentives to mandate an actual increase in the production of affordable housing, for example by exploring the use of bonus FAR and transferable air rights within selected opportunity districts.

However, the success of any new housing initiatives relies in part on an increased capacity at HPD and DCP, including more staff and agency resources.

Thank you for this opportunity to submit written testimony. We would be happy to discuss these comments with your subcommittees.

Yours truly,

Elizabeth Goldstein Signature

Elizabeth Goldstein
Municipal Art Society

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