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Why Are Accessory Dwelling Units Stalled in Albany?
A new article in The River on the housing crisis in New York and the Hudson Valley
The River has published an article, Why Are Accessory Dwelling Units Stalled in Albany?, in which I revisit the housing crisis — and specifically accessory housing units — in New York and the Hudson Valley.
The reality is—aside from a few progressive cities and towns, New York continues to block efforts to meaningfully enlarge affordable housing. In fact, New York is “an outlier regarding the degree of control it allows localities in land use regulation,” according to Noah Kazis of NYU’s Furman Center:
New York stands alone among its peer states—i.e. coastal states with high housing costs and healthy regional economies—in giving its local governments such broad authority over local land use…Essentially every one of New York’s peer states with respect to housing markets—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington, and Florida—have adopted state-level reforms to promote housing development in high-cost suburban areas, and the few similarly-situated states that have not are prominently debating the issue.
I interviewed Mayor Lee Kyriacou of Beacon:
I spoke with Mayor Lee Kyriacou about the year-long push and the result. (Interview edited for length and clarity).
Stowe Boyd: Could you summarize the long push involved to get to the new zoning rules on ADUs?
Lee Kyriacou: It took a long time, but we got to the right answer eventually. I made a list of potential zoning and planning changes to affect housing, about a year and a half ago, and we picked what we thought were the low-hanging fruit. We thought, oh, we’ll just do accessory dwelling units that’ll be quick and easy, because we already allowed them. We were just going to make it a little bit easier [to get ADUs approved], and it took a year! I’ve gotten a little frustrated by that.
Go read the piece at The River.
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