Queens key to solving NYC housing crisis: Opinion

Public housing tenants should be moved to outer boroughs, writer says

The Western Queens waterfront
The Western Queens waterfront

The only solution to New York City’s affordable housing crisis is to build, build and build, according to an opinion piece by Christopher Bonanos in New York magazine.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has pledged to build or preserve about 200,000 units of affordable housing in his first term, and Bonanos suggests that the way to meet this goal is through several key development initiatives. First, he calls for the creation of taller towers in Queens, a borough that he writes is “the future of New York in many ways.”

“The lion’s share of affordable New York will be constructed outside Manhattan, because of simple math—there’s more buildable land, and it’s less expensive,” Bonanos writes. “Western Queens is the likeliest focus.”

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He also advocates for cutting back on parking facilities in new residential buildings, (the inclusion of parking is currently required in some instances by city law). Parking, he writes, “cannibalizes land and makes every building more expensive.”

And very much in line with the mayor-elect, Bonanos said the city should hike the taxes on vacant lots, which he argues would reduce speculation of land and push developers “to build something sooner rather than later.”

Bonanos also calls for lower permit costs to bolster construction, a reduction in landmarking, and relocating public housing authority residents to the outer boroughs. [NY Mag]  – Hiten Samtani