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Removing State Cap Won’t Produce More Affordable Housing

The Conservancy told a November 26th State Assembly hearing on Affordable Housing Development that there is no evidence that removing the existing State cap on the size of residential buildings will produce more affordable housing. But it would leave neighborhoods across the City vulnerable to enormous new construction. Read our testimony.

The joint hearing of the Housing and City Committees was labeled “informational.” Committee Members said they are not considering any proposal currently. The City has tried to remove the State cap twice before in the name of “affordability” with no public notice or hearings. So the hearing was welcome.

We said raising the cap should be the last step to be considered. The City first needs a detailed plan outlining specific areas where the larger buildings would be suitable, not a citywide approach. Historic Districts should be excluded. We also need time to understand how recent City upzonings have impacted neighborhoods in terms of displacement and the loss of currently affordable units. The Conservancy wants to prevent real estate giveaways in the name of affordability.

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