Theses Master's

Evaluation of Local Zoning Regulation and Policy on Housing Affordability Crisis in New York City

Du, Jianwen

New York City has experienced rising unaffordability in recent years with the following housing crisis that impacts local communities, pushes out our people, and makes the city less welcoming. In this challenging time, the research highlights the important role of local government and its zoning regulations in easing the severe affordability crisis citywide, which can not only affect the supply of housing units but can be used as incentives to leverage private capital in developing affordable units. To better guide future housing development, the research aims to evaluate local zoning regulation and policy on affordability crisis and approaches it by introducing the view of local housing needs into the °∞3E°± framework (efficiency, effectiveness, and equitability).

The findings reveal sorting of the population by income, job occupants, and race in the communities citywide, inequity in the region-wide distribution of residential land use without fully addressing local housing needs, and less effective land-use change that exacerbated housing need divergence across the city. Meanwhile, the research points out the potential opportunities to make the proper land use actions in areas with high transit access to accommodate more housing supply. As for inclusionary zoning policies, the research presents the transformation of policy design to respond to a severer housing crisis with stricter restrictions on developers.

The analysis shows that inequity distribution of affordable units in neighborhoods, especially in the weak market of the city, low effectiveness of policies outcomes compared to the whole city's construction volume, and low efficiency for some aspects of policy design, which cannot fully address current pressing housing needs. Also, the implications of results on policy design are proposed in the research. However, this research does not examine the direct effects of land-use change or affordable housing provided on housing production or costs, which is worth further research in the future.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Hong, Boyeong
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 3, 2022


Land Use Regulations; Inclusionary Zoning Policy; Housing Needs; Policy Evaluation