Since Mayor de Blasio launched the Housing New York plan in 2014, New York City has greatly accelerated the construction of affordable housing. A number of these significant projects will be on city-owned property and will now come under the Public Design Commission’s (New York’s design review agency) jurisdiction. The PDC has traditionally been responsible for the review of public open space and institutional buildings but has limited experience in reviewing residential design.

In an effort to inform the Commission’s review of affordable housing developments, PDC staff has spearheaded an interagency research initiative focused on analyzing existing examples and best practices of high-quality affordable housing in New York City and in major cities across the United States and abroad. The PDC has partnered with AIANY and the Center for Architecture for the past year to facilitate this research. This collaboration has also included members from the Fine Arts Federation, the NYC Department of City Planning, and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development.

This publication will include New York City-based case studies and a brief history of the development of affordable housing throughout the city. The publication, titled Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing, will launch at a public program at the Center for Architecture organized in conjunction with Social Housing – New European Projects, on view through May 19, 2018.

The partners of the Designing New York: Quality Affordable Housing initiative are launching a report that will synthesize and summarize research conducted to date on achieving affordable housing design excellence in New York City.