As the city faces a housing crisis, City Hall aims to do its part.

On Monday, city officials kicked off the public review process of a housing proposal known as “The City of Yes for Housing Opportunity.”

What You Need To Know

  • Monday marked the first day Mayor Eric Adams' housing plan entered the public review process

  • The plan will now be reviewed by community boards, borough presidents and others as part of the approval process

  • The housing plan aims to change decades old zoning laws in a bid to build more housing across the five boroughs

“New Yorkers from across the city have come out with us today in support of this plan that would tackle our housing crisis by building a little more housing in every neighborhood,” Dan Garodnick, chair of the City Planning Commission, said at a rally on Monday.  

Under the proposal, the city would make amendments to decades old zoning laws with the aim of significantly increasing housing stock, but it needs approval from the City Council.

Some of the zoning changes include converting office space into housing, allowing residential units to be built above commercial zones, legalizing additional housing units on one- and two-family properties and eliminating parking mandates for new housing.

“Since the 1960s, we haven’t changed the zoning code. Today, we kick off the formal process,” Adolfo Carrión, commissioner for NYC Housing Preservation and Development, said. “It gets hashed out there and argued. It’s going to be an interesting argument because nobody likes change and then it comes back to the City Council the latter part of the year for a final vote.”

Officials say the plan would create over 100,000 new units of housing over the next 15 years.

For some housing advocates, the plan also brings balance to a housing crisis that has been affecting working-class individuals and New Yorkers of color.

“What we’re going to do now is try to change those things that, if you really look at them, are rooted in racist policies,” Shams DaBaron, housing advocate. “We can now begin to build housing in places that you don’t see any building going on.”

Housing has become a top political issue over the last few years.

“The inventory issue is aligned with far too many people who march on Monday that housing is a right but Tuesday not in our backyard, not on our block, not near my park, not near my transportation,” Mayor Eric Adams said.

It played a part in one City Council race, for the Harlem district that is now represented by Yusef Salaam.

Developer Bruce Teitelbaum had planned to develop a site on 145th Street and Lenox Avenue that included over 400 units of affordable housing. But he ended up scrapping the idea after facing push back from the former councilmember. The site is now a truck depot.

Teitelbaum applauded the new housing plan.

“Mayor Adams’ new initiative is exactly what’s needed to address NYC’s exigent housing crisis, and without it, I would be hard pressed to continue with One45. So, it’s a big plus for which he and his team deserve credit. It takes way too long, with way too many obstacles to build large-scale projects like ours, so the mayor’s initiative and commitment is a big part of the solution,” Teitelbaum wrote in a statement to NY1 on Monday.  

Teitelbaum added he continues to be in talks with Salaam to re-imagine the project and is hopeful about the future.

The plan now will be reviewed by community boards, borough presidents and others before going before the City Council in the fall.