Housing stock in these New York boroughs is declining: study

There go the districts.

Some of New York City’s most iconic neighborhoods — from the West Village to Hell’s Kitchen to the Upper West Side — are losing more of their coveted stock of homes and apartments as the Big Apple’s housing shortage reaches unprecedented levels, a new analysis says of the city planning office.

The number of homes in nearly a dozen Big Apple boroughs fell last year, according to the report, due out Monday and available exclusively from The Post.

Instead, almost all new housing production in the five boroughs over the past decade has been concentrated in just a few small areas: primarily Hudson Yards, Long Island City in Queens and Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, the study shows.

“For too long, housing production has been too concentrated in just a few New York City boroughs,” City Planning Commissioner Dan Garodnick said in a statement announcing the report’s findings.

An overall view of an apartment building in the Harlem neighborhood of New York.
The number of homes and apartments in nearly a dozen New York City boroughs has declined over the past year.
Christopher Sadowski

The numbers provide new evidence of the scale and scale of the city’s housing shortage, which has sent rents into the stratosphere — the average new lease in Manhattan cost nearly $5,600 a month in July — and virtually every other facet of life in the Big Apple affected.

Garodnick’s department will make a series of changes to the city’s decades-old zoning ordinance – part of Mayor Eric Adams’ “City of Yes” program – aimed at improving the situation by simplifying and speeding up housing construction across the city.

“To build a city of yes, address our housing crisis, and kickstart our economy, every neighborhood must contribute to our city’s housing growth,” Garodnick said in the statement.

Eric Adams.
Numerous changes to the city’s decades-old zoning code are being implemented as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ “City of Yes” program.
Robert Miller

Specifically, the report found that Manhattan’s trendy Greenwich Village lost 23 housing units while only 10 new apartments or houses were completed.

Hell’s Kitchen lost 35 and won only 21.

Other boroughs where more housing was lost than was built last year include western Midwood in Queens, eastern Gravesend in Brooklyn, Cambria Heights in Queens, Hamilton Heights in Manhattan and Kingsbridge in the Bronx.

A friend of the photographer puts a hand on the glass barrier overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
The housing shortage in the city has pushed rents into the stratosphere.
Getty Images

Overall, New York City added just 26,000 housing units last year — just half of Adams’ lunar goal of 50,000 per year.

Those who can afford the current staggering rents are being forced into bidding wars, while even after getting a housing voucher, less fortunate New Yorkers languish for months in the city’s scandal-ridden housing system, in part because so few apartments are had.

A new report by renowned think tank RAND Corporation has calculated that the housing shortage in New York City has increased by nearly 50 percent over the past decade.

The five boroughs needed an additional 342,000 homes to meet demand in 2019 — up from the gap between supply and demand of 245,000 units in 2012.

“As job growth in the city continues to outstrip housing production, rents in the city have skyrocketed, particularly among low-income households, which saw rent increases of more than 25 percent between 2005 and 2021,” the study said.

“Potential residents are increasingly looking for housing outside of the city, which is putting additional pressure on property prices in the surrounding regions.”

Long Island home prices, where fewer homes and apartments are being built than New York City, have risen 66% over the past decade.

Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul have introduced changes to city and state housing codes to boost housing production.

Residential buildings are seen in New York City on July 26, 2022.
New York City added just 26,000 housing units in the past year.
Getty Images

They have proposed measures that would require communities that have long resisted construction to build new homes, speed up environmental assessments, allow vacant office towers to be converted, allow larger housing developments to be built, and revive controversial property tax breaks that developers feel are necessary make the projects profitable.

So far, however, these efforts have succumbed to fierce opposition from lawmakers from all quarters: suburban lawmakers abhor measures that would effectively force new construction; veteran Manhattan legislators oppose measures that would allow for taller buildings; Unions are angered that the package didn’t include measures to raise wages, and outskirts left-wing progressives blame new developments for spurring gentrification.

Another report, released earlier this spring by the Pew Charitable Trust, examined zoning changes in four US cities aimed at stimulating housing production and found that housing costs rose at a lower rate than the national average.

In one such city, near New Rochelle in Westchester County, rents actually fell 5 percent.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing diza@ustimetoday.com.

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