The City Council modified MIH with certain policy goals in mind: reach lower income households while maintaining flexibility; close loopholes in the program administration; improve transparency; address safety and local hiring concerns; and address problems of displacement and tenant harassment.

To reach lower income households the Council added a new deep affordability option, which requires 20 percent of floor area be set aside for households making an average of 40 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Additionally, the Council modified Option 1 to require that 10 percent of the floor area be set aside for households making 40 percent of the AMI.

Please refer to the modified zoning text, the summary of changes, and the detailed MIH/ZQA presentation to read about all the ways in which the City Council has strengthened this proposal. The full City Council approved these modifications on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

What are the goals of the MIH proposal?

The Department of City Planning and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development have stated that the central goals of the proposal are to create more economically diverse communities across New York City and to ensure that a share of new housing in growing communities is affordable.

Why did the administration proposed MIH?

Since 1990, New York City has grown by over 1 million people, with an estimated increase of over 300,000 people in the last four years alone. The cost of housing has steadily increased as well, as more people compete for apartments.1

There are approximately 270,000 people on the waiting list for public housing2, and lotteries for private affordable units draw a large number of applicants. For instance, there were more than 80,000 applications for 38 affordable units at 59 Frost Street in Williamsburg.3

Prior to the passage of MIH, New York City only had the optional or voluntary inclusionary housing program in some areas; however, this program does not require developers to build affordable housing.

What does MIH require?

In some rezoned parts of the city, any new building that contains over ten apartments will have to provide a certain number of affordable apartments.

MIH has four options:

  • Council-modified Option 1: 25% of the housing must be affordable, on average, to households making 60% of Area Median Income or around $47,000 a year for a household of three. Additionally, Council changed this option so that 10% of the housing must be affordable to households making an average of 40% of Area Median Income. For example, a 100-unit building would have to have 25 affordable apartments, of which 10 would need to be affordable at an average of 40% of Area Median Income.
  • Option 2: 30% of the housing must be affordable, on average, to households making 80% of Area Median Income, or around $62,000 a year for a household of three.
  • Council-modified Workforce Option: 30% of the housing must be affordable, on average, to households making 115% of Area Median Income, or around $93,000 a year for a household of three. Within this, 5% of the housing must be set aside for households at 70% Area Median Income and 5% at households at 90% Area Median Income. Council added the required income bands at 70% and 90% of AMI and also lowered the overall percentage of AMI from 120% to 115%.
  • New Council Deep Affordability Option: 20% of the housing must be affordable, on average, to households making 40% of Area Median Income, or around $31,000 a year for a household of three.

The options selected for each rezoned area will be chosen by the City Council during their vote on the rezoning. The Workforce Option and Deep Affordability Option can only be mapped in conjunction with one of the other options, and no public funding, as defined in the Zoning Resolution, is permitted for the Workforce Option. The Workforce Option is not available in Manhattan Community Boards 1-8.

Below is a chart showing how much a family of three would pay in rent based on its income.

AMI Household Income Affordable 2BR Rent
40% $31,080 $775/month
60% $46,620 $1,150/month
80% $62,150 $1,550/month
100% $77,700 $1,950/month
120% $93,240 $2,350/month

Where would MIH apply if adopted?

DCP and HPD have stated that Mandatory Inclusionary Housing will be implemented in any part of the city that is rezoned to allow construction of more residences than current rules allow.

Mandatory Inclusionary Housing is being contemplated for re-zonings in the following neighborhoods: East New York in Brooklyn; Inwood and East Harlem in Manhattan; Flushing West and Long Island City in Queens; the Jerome Avenue corridor in the Bronx; and Bay Street in Staten Island.

The MIH proposal will also be a part of private rezoning applications where there is an increase in housing density (for instance, if a private developer wanted to build more housing than is allowed today).

This zoning does not apply to smaller buildings with 10 apartments or fewer. Additionally, new buildings with between 11 and 25 apartments have the option of paying into a fund instead of building affordable apartments. This fund will be used for affordable housing development and preservation in the local community district or within a half mile radius.

What has been the reaction to the proposal?

We have posted all of the Community Board and Borough President recommendations for review along with all of the testimony we received.


* The explanation above is for informational purposes only and is not meant to serve as a substitute for the actual regulations, which are found in the final modified zoning text.

  1. US Census, American Community Survey. From 2005 to 2014 Median Household Income increased from $43,434 to $52,996, respectively – an increase of 22%. When adjusted to 2014 dollars, median household income was $52,629.21 in 2005 and $52,996 in 2014, a negligible increase. Median Monthly Housing Cost for NYC was $976 in 2005 vs. $1,337 in 2014 — an increase of 37%. When adjusted to 2014 dollars, housing costs were $1,183 in 2005 versus $1,337 in 2014, an increase of 13%.
  2. http://therealdeal.com/2015/06/25/thousands-of-nycha-units-lay-vacant-due-to-delayed-repairs/
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/nyregion/long-lines-and-low-odds-for-new-yorks-subsidized-housing-lotteries.html