Blame America’s housing woes on zoning laws

Blame america’s housing woes on zoning laws

For New Yorkers who have spent decades trying to navigate the city’s housing market, it’s a small comfort to know that not even city planners can make sense of the city’s web of zoning policies. But this is nothing compared with the comfort that landlords feel, safe in the knowledge that they’ve used zoning to game the system. The tax breaks, rent-control laws and building restrictions that make up zoning codes in many major cities require lawyers to decipher. And whether by design or in effect, a housing regime that is intelligible only to highly trained professionals is one that spells endless power for owners and endless misery for tenants. Zoning codes must be simplified — quickly, radically and without mercy.

Even the Astoria Cove example is more complicated than it seems. The City Planning Department’s map mishap involves an arcane provision known as 421-a, which exempts developers from a number of property taxes for 25 years. As Crain’s New York notes, “In some parts of the city, developers can get this break with no strings attached. In other parts, where building residential is more lucrative, developers have to dedicate 20 percent of their apartments to households making below 60 percent of the area median income.” ….

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

Leave a Comment