Houses, Not Warehouses Act Might Be A Game Changer For NYC’s Housing Crisis

There are currently more than 2,000 vacant properties and lots in NYC. Together, they could provide housing solutions for 200,000 homeless New Yorkers.

By Team Agorafy August 11, 2017

NYC is, indeed a city of contrasts. Just when you think that no parcel of land is safe from rampant development, including jails and houses of worship, you suddenly realize—hey, what about all these sinister-looking empty houses and vacant land lots?

There is probably one in your neighborhood. You know, one of those abandoned properties that attracts rats, and whose owners can’t be tracked down by any legal means—basically, an eyesore for the local residents?

RelatedRich Or Poor—Nobody Can Afford NYC’s Median Rents, Study Says

There is more where these came from—at least 2,200 only in the borough of Manhattan. And there is also a homeless epidemic in NYC—data says that some 60,000 people are currently sleeping in shelters. It’s easy to put two and two together here, right? At least,organization Picture the Homeless did – and is currently fighting for the passage of the Housing, Not Warehousing Act. 

This act is a combination of the three bills. Here’s what it would do—mandate an annual count of all vacant property in NYC, create a mandatory registry for all landlords holding their property vacant, and,finally, “compile a list of all city, state, federally, and authority-owned vacant property suitable for the development of affordable housing, and recommend paths towards bringing these units to occupancy for affordable housing when possible.”

RelatedThe Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly

That last part is important. The Housing, Not Warehousing Act, which, according to the public advocates, might just turn out to be the strongest anti-warehousing legislation this city has ever seen, is supposed to mitigate and solve NYC’s housing and homelessness crisis – not create more glassy condos.

“Developers, builders, and speculators see vacant spaces as future wealth,” say representatives of the Picture the Homeless. “That future wealth does us no good now, when people are hungry and starving and homeless. Identifying vacant spaces is part of measuring the resources of New York City, both real and potential.”

“If we utilize the city’s vacant lots and buildings, we could find housing for every homeless New Yorker,” says Public Advocate Letitia James. “The Housing Not Warehousing Act realizes this solution by enumerating all vacant lots, creating a mandatory registry for landlords owning vacant property and using the vacant properties to create affordable housing units.”

Team Agorafy



Our mission is to be the most accurate resource for commercial listings, residential listings, and property information, allowing users to make highly-informed decisions based on current market data.

    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury
UN New York Hotel To Rebrand As Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza
The United Nations Plaza complex is an iconic landmark in Manhattan. It is a key property located across from the United Nations Headquarters that is…
Houses, Not Warehouses Act Might Be A Game Changer For NYC’s Housing Crisis
NYC is, indeed a city of contrasts. Just when you think that no parcel of land is safe from rampant development, including jails and houses…
Could Your Next Real Estate Agent Be A Robot?
Big data, robotics and artificial intelligence are starting to be used to sell residential real estate. As the technology evolves, it is fair to ask:…
Rich Or Poor—Nobody Can Afford NYC’s Median Rents, Study Says
Just because you are rich, doesn’t mean you can afford to live in New York City. No one can—except for the top one percent and…
Developers Jump Aboard The Trend To Revamp Transit Hubs And Remake Cities
Never has the often used marketing term, “close to transportation” been more important when attracting home buyers. These days it’s not just homes that are…
The Demand For The No-Frills Non-Luxury Rentals In Manhattan Is At All-Time High
What makes for a hot, sought after rental unit in a struggling Manhattan market? It is easier to say what doesn’t — it definitely isn’t…
Surviving The First Year—Three Simple Rules Every New Real Estate Agent Needs To Follow
Every year, thousands of people successfully obtain real estate salesperson’s license and join the already overcrowded real estate industry. Unfortunately, roughly 87 percent of these…
Four Countries To Retire In With $200K In Savings—And How Much Real Estate Costs There
Ever dreamed of retiring abroad? You know, affordable healthcare, better climate, more positive news—becoming an expat seems like an enticing option, especially one you no…