The solution to rising housing prices in the New York metro area could be the addition of 250,000 homes to the city’s suburbs over the next 20 years, according to a new study released this week.
The study, conducted by the New York City-based Regional Plan Association and released Tuesday, says the key to affordable living is building transit-oriented developments, which reduces the cost of living.
“Our region is struggling under the weight of it’s own success — with housing prices at an all-time high and space at a premium,” said Tom Wright, President of the Regional Plan Association. “More transit-oriented development is a real answer to our concurrent housing and commuting crises.”
Titled “Untapped,” in reference to the region’s potential for development, the 40-page study found that more than 60 percent of municipalities in the Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, northern New Jersey and western Connecticut have restrictive zoning codes near their regional rail stations that hinder multi-family development. It found more than one in four municipalities only allow for low-density, single-family development in those areas.
RPA suggests that denser downtowns, with housing, retail, parks and schools near railroad stations, reduces the need for parking lots and garages because neighborhoods become more walkable. It also suggests that existing parking areas could be used for development.
“As technology emerges that will free space within some of New York’s most accessible suburbs, now is the time to consider our suburban planning holistically — and fully commit to a transit-oriented development strategy throughout the region,” Wright said.