Since the Great Depression, the United States government has failed to find an adequate remedy to a nationwide housing shortage amongst low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The COVID-19 public health crisis has exacerbated this ongoing, nation-wide housing crisis, and has highlighted the racial inequities present in our housing market. Furthermore, it has pushed New York State’s residential housing market into a uniquely precarious position. Dramatic legislation is required at the state level to address the housing crisis caused by the massive growth in income-insecure and housing-insecure individuals that resulted from the pandemic, as well as the widespread departure of high-earning individuals out of the city. Despite the recent federal and state-wide moratoriums on evictions, further action is needed at the state level to address pernicious, exclusionary practices creating these housing shortages. By following the leads of other jurisdictions attempting to remedy their own housing crises, New York State should preempt local government restrictions on new developments, and further incentivize property owners to convert their housing into affordable units. Given the number of vacant market-rate units in New York City as well as the ongoing suburban housing boom, the real estate market is particularly ripe for New York State to remedy longstanding inequities and injustices.
LOOKING FOR A SILVER LINING: HOW THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC FORCED NEW YORK TO RECKON WITH ITS AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS,
15 Brook. J. Corp. Fin. & Com. L.
Available at: https://brooklynworks.brooklaw.edu/bjcfcl/vol15/iss2/6