More than 90 advocates, experts, and practitioners, including RPA and NYHC, sent a letter to city officials calling for a citywide approach to housing that says “Yes” to affordable housing in all neighborhoods. The letter, sent to Mayor Eric Adams, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and the five Borough Presidents to urge the City to support affordable housing in every Council District.

The coalition urged city leaders to consider citywide zoning amendments to promote long-term equitable growth, while supporting much-needed affordable and supportive housing projects being proposed right now. In all, the groups say that New York is now facing its first test to become “the city that says yes.”

The letter is signed by religious leaders, advocates for homeless New Yorkers, housing trade associations, community groups, policy experts, and concerned New Yorkers. In it, the groups collectively write:

“At the end of the first six months of this administration we have a housing plan, a valuable product of hard work and collaboration. We also have a vision for how equitable development can work in New York – a vision of a ‘City that Says Yes’ – yes to needed infrastructure, yes to job opportunities, yes to building more affordable housing.

“Key to the last part of this vision is putting in place a citywide approach. This means passing citywide zoning amendments, which can lead to more equitable development throughout the five boroughs, and we are excited to collaborate with the administration to develop these. But just as key is to make sure that good proposals, especially those in areas with a dearth of affordable housing currently, are not defeated by a few neighborhood residents who would rather not see anything, no matter how needed, get built.”

By rejecting exclusionary zoning and the idea that some neighborhoods can simply opt-out of creating new affordable and supportive housing, the groups say New York City can finally overcome its housing crisis and “start us on the path to a more equitable and affordable city, with each council district participating equitably in NYC’s affordable housing plan.”

You can read the full letter here.