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Mayor Adams unveils ‘City of Yes for Housing Opportunity’ plan to empower faith-based organizations in NYC

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams has revealed detailed plans aimed at tackling the city’s housing crisis by engaging faith-based organizations and other mission-driven nonprofits in the creation of critically-needed affordable housing units throughout the five boroughs.

This initiative, a pivotal component of the Adams administration’s ambitious “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” proposal, seeks to address the pressing issue of housing scarcity by leveraging underutilized properties owned by religious institutions.

Under the proposed zoning changes, faith-based organizations will be empowered to develop new housing units on their land or repurpose existing structures to provide affordable housing options.

Mayor Adams emphasized the importance of collaboration with religious entities, highlighting their pivotal role in addressing the city’s housing needs.

“With our ‘City of Yes for Housing Opportunity’ plan, we are ushering in a new era of collaboration with our churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith-based organizations,” stated Mayor Adams. “By enabling these institutions to convert unused spaces into homes for New Yorkers, we are not only addressing the housing crisis but also strengthening our communities.”

The proposal, set to undergo public review this spring and subsequent voting by the New York City Council, aims to confront the city’s housing shortage, characterized by a mere 1.4 percent rental vacancy rate.

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer emphasized the urgency of implementing innovative solutions to make housing more accessible across all neighborhoods.

“New York’s housing crisis demands bold action, and our ‘City of Yes for Housing Opportunity’ initiative embodies that spirit,” said Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer.

“By unlocking the potential of faith-based organizations and other mission-driven entities, we can introduce a much-needed influx of housing options while revitalizing communities.”

Key aspects of the proposal include the relaxation of outdated zoning regulations hindering housing development on religious properties and the expansion of programs facilitating the transfer of development rights. Additionally, the plan aims to provide financial incentives for faith-based organizations embarking on affordable housing projects.

Leaders from various sectors voiced their support for the initiative, acknowledging the pivotal role of faith-based organizations in addressing societal challenges.

“Faith-based organizations have long been at the forefront of serving our communities, and now, they will lead the charge in addressing our housing crisis,” remarked New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “With ‘City of Yes for Housing Opportunity,’ we are saying ‘yes’ to a future where all New Yorkers can afford to live in our great city.”

The proposal aligns with the Adams administration’s broader vision of fostering sustainable, inclusive growth across New York City.

As part of a comprehensive strategy to revitalize neighborhoods and promote economic opportunity, the initiative represents a significant step towards building a more equitable city for all residents.

In the face of escalating housing challenges, Mayor Adams remains committed to enlisting diverse stakeholders in the pursuit of innovative solutions.

The “City of Yes for Housing Opportunity” plan underscores his administration’s dedication to confronting the housing crisis head-on and ensuring that every New Yorker has access to safe, affordable housing options.

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