Right to Housing

How can the next mayor ensure that every New Yorker has a permanent and healthy home?


Housing affordability is one of the greatest challenges facing New Yorkers today, in spite of extraordinary efforts to build and preserve affordable housing during this administration. Our patchwork zoning policy has also created barriers in some neighborhoods to building new homes and welcoming new residents, perpetuating racial disparities and limiting access to jobs, schools, and open space. Overcrowding and the limited supply of affordable homes has exacerbated COVID-19 transmission and mortality in communities of color. Growing income inequality has driven homelessness to the highest rate in decades, and an eviction crisis looms due to the pandemic.

  1. 13.

    Center health outcomes and housing quality in a new housing plan.

    • Tie a holistic housing strategy directly to social determinants of health.

    • Fight to restore public housing to livable conditions.

  2. 14.

    Embrace creative housing approaches to alleviate homelessness.

    • Challenges: The number of New Yorkers sleeping each night in municipal shelters has risen by roughly 50% in the past 10 years.

    • Make a plan to prevent post-pandemic housing speculation that would exacerbate homelessness.

    • Retool the zoning code to unleash new housing development serving very low-income and homeless New Yorkers.

    Case Study

    Minneapolis, MN – Minneapolis 2040
  3. 15.

    Build racially and economically diverse neighborhoods while reducing displacement.

    • Ensure that the responsibility of housing growth is distributed across every neighborhood.

    • Secure permanent housing for Black and brown residents by fighting displacement and investing in historically redlined neighborhoods.

    Case Study

    Portland, OR – North/Northeast Preference Policy

These recommendations are authored by Urban Design Forum. We thank our advisors who provided helpful insights, suggestions, and guidance throughout the working group process.