New York’s housing market is in the midst of change. In Brooklyn, increasing unit prices have led to a shortage of tenants. In the Bronx, an influx of potential tenants has had its sway on the housing market.
Recently, Governor Cuomo has re-implemented the 421-a tax abatement, which provides a tax exemption for builders of new housing developments in certain parts of the city. In exchange, 421-a mandates that these new developments include a certain percentage of low-cost units for the increasing number of New Yorkers feeling priced out. Between regulations put in place after the last recession and Governor Cuomo’s affordability mandate, many for-profit giants in New York City’s housing industry have found themselves out of work and out of space. In some cases, they’ve partnered with non-profit agencies to build what they can. This has led to a boost in construction initiatives that marry the might of the market with the social values of charities.
New housing developments are already being built in Queens and the Bronx that advance urban growth in new and interesting ways. They strive to be sustainable and self-sufficient—to provide a community model to which the rest of the city can aspire. One new development will include a supermarket, a gym, and even a charter school on-site. Another development is being built entirely of recycled materials. Amenities such as LED lighting, low-flow toilets, and rooftop gardens are also part of the plan. To these non-profit companies, community goes hand-in-hand with affordability.
The awkward relationship between growth and sustainability in New York City has long been a problem for residents and home-builders alike. However, some developers are reshaping the landscape through a new push for livability and social awareness. New Yorkers who are suffering from high rents or prohibitive accommodations have a brighter, smarter, greener future to look forward to.