NYC Looks To Pilot ‘Basement Program’ To Allow For More Affordable Housing

On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio announced that in an effort to create more housing in the city, a new program will be created that could potentially unlock up to 5,000 new units in East New York.

During his budget address, the mayor recognized that making these apartments legal is an opportunity to ensure their safety and open up more affordable housing.

This new program is a concrete example of a city in our region adopting one of our Fourth Regional Plan recommendations — legalize “accessory dwelling units,” aka basement apartments or granny flats to create more housing without lifting a hammer.

In an interview with POLITICO, our Director of Community Planning and Design Moses Gates encouraged the City to go even bigger with this program. “While a pilot program in East New York is great, I think that we should be looking at — sooner rather than later — instituting this in other markets and other places throughout the city as well because this is not just an East New York thing,” he said. “This is a Maspeth thing. This is a Douglaston thing. This is a Morris Park thing.”

We commend the City for taking this innovative approach to creating more housing supply without new building.

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