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Mayor Eric Adams unveils ambitious plan to build 500,000 affordable homes in the next decade

Mayor Adams unveils strategy to tackle NYC's affordable housing issues
Mayor Adams unveils strategy to tackle NYC's affordable housing issues 02:28

NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday unveiled a new three-pronged strategy to tackle the lack of affordable housing.

He set a "moonshot" goal of building 500,000 new homes in the next 10 years.

READ MORETop homeless advocate Christine Quinn proposes an incentive for building affordable housing

It wasn't a coincidence that boxes and boxes of paper were stacked in the City Hall rotunda as officials gathered for a news conference on the city's affordable housing crisis. It was the mayor's way of dramatizing why it's so hard to build new homes in New York City.

"You know, this stack of papers, this is what it takes to get it done. People are reading through 50,000 pieces of paper to actually get housing built," Adams said.

Which is why the mayor's new "get stuff built" housing plan focuses on cutting red tape -- 111 new ways to cut bureaucracy and make it easier to build new homes.

"If we enact all 111 reforms, we cut the time in half for a project to get from an environmental review to actually permitted with people in them and we've saving about $2 billion," Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer said.

The changes include:

  • Exempting small residential buildings from environmental review
  • Speeding up the precertification process
  • Streamlining inspections of fire protection systems
  • Creating a one-stop shop portal at the Department of Buildings to get construction permits

Some of the things the mayor wants to do will require City Council approval. Some will need the Legislature in Albany. Some will need federal help.

"Let us work together to meet the need for 500,000 new homes over the next decade. This is our mission, our moonshot, a bold effort. It must fire ambition and inspire teamwork," Adams said.

READ MOREHochul, Adams break ground on affordable housing project in the Bronx

The mayor said he wants to build everywhere, including:

  • Around 6,000 new homes around the four new Metro-North stations that are set to open in the East Bronx in 2027
  • An Atlantic Avenue mixed-use development in central Brooklyn

"If we do not deal with this housing crisis, new world New York will no longer be a city for working people, for families, for immigrants, or for elders. We cannot let this happen. We must take action, now," Adams said.

The affordable housing crisis is being exacerbated by homelessness and by high rents. The average rent in Manhattan is over $4,000 per month.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said she's willing to work with the mayor to fix the housing shortage. She says she plans to offer her own proposals to unlock New York's housing potential during her state of the state speech next month.

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