On December 8, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams released his “Get Stuff Built” plan, a report produced by the Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining Task Force. Since elected to office, it has been a top priority of the administration to increase the speed and production of affordable housing in New York City. With the Get Stuff Built plan, the mayor provides over 100 actions that the city will take to create more housing “faster, smarter, and cheaper,” in his own words.
The housing plan calls for quickly cutting red tape, streamlining processes, and removing bureaucratic obstacles that are slowing housing production and the post-Covid economic recovery. In his speech outlining the initiatives, Adams said, “We need more housing and we need it as fast as we can build it.” He stated that “equity must be a part of the New York story, just as it is part of the American dream, and building more housing is one of the best ways of creating wealth and economic opportunity.” Specifically, his plan targets the city’s environmental review, land use, and building permitting processes for improvement.
For example, the plan seeks to speed up the pre-certification process and make it more transparent. The pre-certification process, which must be completed before the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) can begin, is historically quite time-consuming and has no mandated timeline, in some cases lasting over two years. Get Stuff Built calls for a series of actions that the Department of City Planning (DCP) can take to eliminate certain requirements which will allow projects to move more quickly. For instance, Adams is proposing to eliminate the practice of holding multiple informational meetings prior to interdivisional consultation, minimize the number of rounds of review between DCP staff and applicants in the pre-certification phase, and create a fast track for review in the pre-certification stage by DCP staff for smaller-scale projects.
Another example is the recommendation to exempt buildings with fewer than 200 units from an environmental assessment statement that typically takes six to eight months to complete and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, the cost of which is ultimately absorbed by building tenants. Adams noted that nearly all of these smaller projects are usually found to have no significant impacts on the environment. This would require amendments to existing city and state regulations.
The plan states that about half of the recommendations will be implemented in the next 12 months, and the remaining recommendations will be implemented in the next 24 to 36 months.