City of Yes for Housing Opportunity to Include New, Higher-Density Residential Zoning Districts 

April 1, 2024

On March 28, 2024, the Adams Administration announced that its City of Yes for Housing Opportunity zoning proposal would, if approved by the City Council, introduce new, higher-density residential zoning districts to New York City.


“Our housing crisis has been so long in the making, and the severity of our crisis is now so dire, that to change the trajectory of this problem, we need to do everything, everywhere, all at once,” Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer said in a press release. “By proposing brand new residential districts that require permanently affordable homes, we are demonstrating, yet again, that New York City will continue to take bold action to meet the moment, and we call on our partners across all levels of government to do the same.”


The two proposed zoning districts (R11 and R12) would allow for residential development to achieve a floor area ratio (or FAR) of 15 and 18, respectively. This would allow for developments to maximize residential floor area at 15 or 18 times the lot size – a significant increase from the current statewide residential cap of 12 FAR.


While the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity would introduce the two new residential zoning districts into the city’s Zoning Resolution, neither district could be mapped or utilized until the state legislature repeals provisions of the Multiple Dwelling Law that currently impose the 12 FAR limit.


Developments constructed in the new zoning districts would be subject to the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, requiring 20% to 30% of residential floor area to be affordable to New Yorkers, earning an average of 40% to 80% of the area median income.


“We must tackle our housing crisis with an equitable, city-wide approach, and that’s exactly what these new zoning districts will help us do,” said Department of City Planning Director Dan Garodnick.


“New Yorkers need relief from the housing and affordability crisis, and they need it now,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “As we announce new, bold initiatives, I am urging lawmakers at every level of government to join us in our efforts to meet this moment and deliver homes that New Yorkers need and deserve.”


The full City of Yes for Housing Opportunity zoning proposal is expected to be released in the next two weeks and is expected to enter public review this spring, with the City Council vote expected by the end of 2024.


The initiative is part of the mayor’s three-pronged approach to easing zoning restrictions in the city. City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality, approved in December, focused on easing zoning restrictions to support sustainability, and City of Yes for Economic Opportunity, which was approved by the City Planning Commission in early March and is currently before the City Council, seeks to support small business growth and job creation.


We will continue to monitor the details of the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity and provide updates.

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Vivien Krieger

Co-Chair, Zoning, Land Use & Development

(212) 883-2228

Rachel Scall


(212) 453-3992

Meenakshi Srinivasan

Senior Principal, Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies

(212) 453-3714

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