The Real Estate Board of New York to The Committee on Housing and Buildings of the New York City Council Regarding Intro. No. 2246, Intro. No. 2312, Intro. No. 2411, and Intro. No. 2436

Ryan Monell

Vice President of City Legislative Affairs

November 9, 2020

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As of the most recent census, over 8.8 million people call New York City home – a 7% increase from the previous decade.1 Over roughly the same period, the city gained only 206,000 new homes2 - producing significantly less housing units per 1000 residents as compared to other high cost cities in the country such as San Francisco, and much, much less as compared to other growing peer cities in terms of jobs and people such as Seattle and Denver.3 Our lack of housing production alone has tangible consequences for all New Yorkers: 290,000 New York households live in overcrowded conditions4 and 47,979 New Yorkers sleep in the municipal shelter system each night.5 What’s more, approximately 68% of city households are renters6, and 26% of renters in New York City pay more than 50% of their income towards rent7.

By all indicators, New York has not kept pace with its housing needs. These indicators also show a particularly acute need for below market rate rental and supportive housing. New York’s housing crisis is dire and complex and requires a multi-pronged approach of preservation, production, and conversion to the meet the full breadth of need and provide options in existing neighborhoods of opportunity to tenants. To ensure increased housing supply, we need strong partners in and close collaboration between the State, the City, and the private sector, new tools and ideas, increased public investment, and cross-sector partnerships to facilitate this work.

The bills under consideration today are intended to correct the existing inequities in our housing system, to ensure a strong and equitable recovery, and to further housing production citywide. REBNY appreciates the opportunity to provide input to help meet these goals and looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Council on these and other matters.