Proposed City of Yes for Housing Opportunity Amendment to Help Faith-Based Orgs Build Affordable Housing

Mayor Adams shares details about how the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity proposed zoning text amendment will help faith-based organizations build affordable housing at Antioch Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On March 22, 2024, Mayor Eric Adams announced details about the plan to assist faith-based organizations and other mission-based nonprofits to build affordable housing citywide. As part of the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity plan, the administration’s third proposed zoning text changes that will remove outdated and arbitrary language from the zoning text that will allow for the creation of more housing.

The proposed plan will allow qualified organizations to convert their underused properties like convents or school buildings into affordable housing where residential use is allowed. Community facilities, like faith-based organizations, will also have the ability to develop more housing with additional development rights and flexibility. 

If the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity Plan is approved, the Landmarks Transferable Development Rights program will also be expanded. This program enables landmarked buildings to transfer unused development rights to nearby sites; landmarked religious institutions could use the program to raise funds and help with the creation of more housing. 

The City of Yes for Housing Opportunity is set to enter public review this spring following the environmental review from the Department of City Planning. The first amendment, the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality, was passed by the City Council last December. The second amendment, the City of Yes for Economic Opportunity, was approved by the City Planning Commission in early March and is currently under review by the City Council. 

Mayor Adams stated, “Our administration is throwing open the door to new solutions and new housing that will help us solve the housing crisis by working with our churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith-based organizations. Today, we are saying ‘yes in God’s backyard,’ and enabling faith-based organizations and non-profits to convert old convents, school buildings, and other properties into desperately-needed housing. Faith leaders remain on the frontlines of countless issues and now they will play an even more active role in building more housing and reclaiming our city for working-class New Yorkers. This is a fight for the soul of our city. So it’s fitting to engage so many leaders who not only understand our housing crisis, but stand ready to help solve it.”

Department of City Planning Director and City Planning Commission Chair Dan Garodnick stated, “Faith-based organizations are on the frontlines of our housing crisis, feeling its impact on their congregations and providing critical services to New Yorkers in need. When our trusted community leaders and faith-based organization partners want to step up and provide much-needed affordable housing, we should be doing everything we can to support them — not throwing up barriers. ‘City of Yes for Housing Opportunity’ would support faith-based and other mission-oriented organizations as critical partners to address our housing crisis.” 

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.