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February 18, 2022

NYS Governor Hochul Modifies $25 Billion Five-Year Housing Plan

On January 5, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced a five-year housing plan as part of her 2022 State of the State address. The housing plan calls for a $25 billion statewide investment over five years to address housing inequities.

The housing plan will use a four-part framework of economic recovery, social justice, climate action, and digital connectivity to increase New York State’s housing stock. The goal is to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes throughout the state, including 10,000 homes with support services for vulnerable populations. Additionally, the housing plan aims to electrify 50,000 homes in an effort to meet the state’s goal to electrify one million homes and make another one million electrification ready.

As initially announced, the housing plan outlined a strategy to increase density in urban areas by focusing on four key areas, including authorization of accessory dwelling units on owner-occupied residentially zoned lots. Some state and local municipal officials pushed back on the accessory dwelling unit proposal, however, citing an increase in suburban neighborhood parking problems, a strain on local utility services, and infringement on local zoning powers. On February 17, the governor curtailed the accessory dwelling unit component to an amnesty program for existing accessory dwelling units in New York City and eliminated the “transit-oriented development” proposal aimed to build housing close to commuter rail stations. The governor hopes for further discussion with local governments on the matter going forward. The remainder of the housing plan appears to remain intact, including the following:

•    Increase densification in New York City: The governor will propose dropping the 12.0 floor area ratio in New York City and return maximum density limit authority to local governments. The governor will also propose ending the 421-a tax abatement and will implement a replacement program that creates deeper affordability for lower-income households.  
•    Convert hotels and offices to housing: The state will implement more flexible zoning rules to allow the conversion of unused office and commercial space into residential housing. 

Attorneys in Barclay Damon’s Land Use & Zoning Practice Area will continue to monitor the housing plan as it develops and are available to assist businesses as they navigate this changing landscape. 

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Corey Auerbach, Land Use & Zoning Practice Area co-chair, at; Ari Goldberg, associate, at; Dan Krzykowski, associate, at; or another member of the firm’s Land Use & Zoning Practice Area. 

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