Mayor Adams’ ‘Get Stuff Built’ housing plan seeks to reduce red tape

Mayor Eric Adams set an extremely ambitious target Thursday to tackle the housing crisis after declining this past summer to commit to a number of affordable units.

“Let us work together to meet the need for 500,000 new homes over the next decade,” he said. “This is our mission, our moonshot.”

The half million homes would be low-, moderate- and market-rate, a surge in supply to meet the intense demand driving up rents around the city.

What You Need To Know

  • The mayor set a “moonshot” goal of building 500,000 new units in the next decade

  • Only 200,000 were built in the past decade

  • Proposals to build faster include exempting smaller buildings from environmental review processes

  • The plan reduces the influence of the City Council, whose buy-in is necessary for the sweeping changes

The mayor’s new “Get Stuff Built” blueprint, like his past housing plans, relies on reducing red tape.

At City Hall, he pointed to a tall stack of paper signifying bureaucracy.

“I mean, this has to be unacceptable to everyone,” he said. “So we have to get rid of this.”

The plan takes aim at the city’s environmental review, land use and permitting processes with 111 recommendations.

One example is exempting buildings with fewer than 200 units from an environmental assessment statement that could take eight months to conduct.

He added of a step that could take two years: “There’s an entire pre-certification process. That’s right. The city has a process before you can start the process.”

But while Mayor Adams took questions from reporters with administration officials and business leaders behind him, no City Council members were present.

Council buy-in is needed to help change how the city green-lights development.

Speaker Adrienne Adams and Finance Chair Justin Brannan earlier Thursday blasted Mayor Adams’ cuts to agencies.

“A set of ideas focused on increasing the pace of development to confront the affordable housing shortage while simultaneously understaffing and eliminating positions at DOB, HPD and the agencies required to do the work will not move us forward,” they said in a statement.

Two of Mayor Adams’ 111 recommendations call for filling vacancies at the departments of transportation and city planning.

Meanwhile, the mayor stressed that he hears concerns about displacement.

“It’s not about removing long-term residents from their communities,” he said, “but allowing them to be part of the development of their communities.”  

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