New York City Mayor Eric Adams proposed a housing plan last week that would build homes in each of the five boroughs. The “Get Stuff Built” program consists of an ambitious goal to develop half a million homes within the next ten years.
Mayor Eric Adams
“If New York is to remain the city we love, we must have places for the people we love. We need more housing, and we need it as fast as we can build it,” Mayor Adams said in a press release. “The system has been broken for so long that we view it as our reality. Our city declared a housing emergency five decades ago, yet, we have failed to address it with the same urgency we would any other crisis. That ends now. We can, and we must, do better. We need to add hundreds of thousands of units to address the problem, and that is exactly what we are going to do. Today we are saying yes to more housing and yes to getting stuff built. We are going to build faster, we are going to build everywhere, and we are going to build together.”
Streamline Certification Process
Mayor Adams is speaking on the red tape developers must go through to get permits for building. He proposes to remove or streamline some of the processes required for developing homes in New York for developers to get started. For example, pre-certification takes two years, and then you have an environmental review process for buildings with less than 200 units. In addition, the Department of Buildings needs to consolidate its online application process for construction approvals. The mayor’s office expects changes to these items could expedite development by 50 percent. It’s also suggested these changes would also lower building costs.
Approval From State And Local Government
Most of the changes needed to move forward on “Get Stuff Built” could be implemented by the Mayor’s office. However, the DOB fire alarm inspection requires approval from the City Council and New York State Legislature.
The Mayor plans to follow through on “Get Stuff Built” in conjunction with lawmakers on the national, state, and local tiers. Within the “Build Together” section, the Mayor’s office is also pursuing legalizing 50,000 basement units, converting commercial buildings into residences, amending policies to allow more affordable housing, and providing the city with more leniency to construct more homes in high-density neighborhoods.
Although the Mayor’s “Get Stuff Built” plan has many great ideas, skeptics believe the program serves the wealthy. Former city planner Erik Kober states, “throwing out a number but not producing a plan that explains in any credible way how he would get there. There would have to be more ambitious process changes to achieve the goal of half a million new homes. Even more important, there would have to be ambitious zoning changes.”
Executive Director at Village Preservation Andrew Berman has concerns about the Mayor’s plan, “That’s a good message when it comes to certain types of development, carefully chosen where they should go,” Berman told the Times. “It’s a poor message for many other kinds of development that just benefits the titans of the real estate industry who control so much of the city.”