Legislated in 2016, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) are two of the many initiatives that make up the Housing New York plan, Mayor de Blasio's roadmap for creating and preserving 300,000 affordable homes to serve a range of New Yorkers, from the very poorest to the middle class households that make up the City's workforce.
A key issue identified in Housing New York is the need to modernize obscure and outdated zoning rules that have not kept pace with best practices for residential design and construction. Shortly after the release of the plan, HPD began working with the Department of City Planning (DCP), communities, non-profit housing groups, architects, developers, and other practitioners, to identify a set of zoning barriers that constrain new housing creation and add unnecessary costs, and strategies to address them.
MIH is a foundation pillar, not just of our housing plan, for of our vision for the city, because it guarantees that when zoning increases opportunities for housing, the growth that results will be inclusive. By requiring developers to provide permanently affordable housing whenever public action creates substantial capacity for new housing, MIH ensures that affordable housing is stitched into the fabric of neighborhoods across the city.
Zoning establishes limits on the use, size, and shape of buildings, with numerous zoning districts mapped in the city’s diverse neighborhoods to reflect their varying density and character. These limits help give shape to neighborhoods and predictability to their future. But sometimes they also have unintended consequences, discouraging the very types of outcomes they were intended to encourage. ZQA addresses several ways in which these regulations, drafted a generation ago, have in practice discouraged the affordability and quality of recent buildings.