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February 11, 2023

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed several reforms to the state’s housing system which, if enacted, could dramatically impact NYC’s real estate market.[1] Many of the proposals are intended to spur new development to remediate NYC’s housing crunch.[2]

First, the Governor plans to repeal a New York state law that restricts the amount of residential space a developer can build on a given lot.[3] If the legislature adopts her plan, developers would be able to build many more units – hopefully expanding NYC’s supply of affordable condo units.[4] Second, the state will support New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ efforts to convert some of the NYC’s excess office space into new housing units.[5] The regulatory relief would make it easier for developers to change existing commercial space into new condo and rental homes.[6] Finally, the Governor will simplify the process for city homeowners to bring garden and basement units into legal compliance.[7] Off-market basement and garden-level units have been common in some parts of the Five Boroughs. With the suggested amnesty proposal, NYC may see more of these units on the market as rentals or condos.


[1] See Press Release, Kathy Hochul, Governor, State of New York, Governor Hochul Announces Statewide Strategy to Address New York’s Housing Crisis and Build 800,000 New Homes, (January 10, 2023), https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-statewide-strategy-address-new-yorks-housing-crisis-and-build-800000

[2] Id.

[3] Kathryn Brenzel, Hochul plan for resi towers is tall order, TheRealDeal, (January 19, 2023) https://therealdeal.com/2022/01/19/hochul-plan-for-resi-towers-is-tall-order/

[4] Id.

[5] Greg David, In State of the State Speech, Hochul Backs Adams Housing Agenda,, The City, (January 10, 2023) https://www.thecity.nyc/2023/1/10/23549102/state-of-state-speech-hochul-adams-housing

[6] Id.

[7] Id.