Making Room

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Bloomberg & Quinn announce new approach to illegal conversions

Approach to illegal conversions

Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn have announced a new approach to target illegal conversions this week.

We are delighted that it includes many of the policy proposals put forward  in CHPC’s Making Room advocacy project, including a cross-agency initiative that will result in recommendations for legal home conversions, shared housing, and micro-units.

We applaud the Mayor’s effort to address not just the enforcement issues, but the underlying problems in the housing market which CHPC has been focusing on.

You can read the press release in full here.

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Festival of Ideas for the New City

2011-05-07 13.47.47

On Saturday, the sunny Bowery was host to the StreetFest portion of the first annual Festival of Ideas for the New City; a four day initiative spearheaded by the New Museum serving as a platform for artists, architects, and designers to exchange ideas, propose solutions, create new problems, and invite the public to participate in improving urban life.

CHPC partners, the Architectural League, took up residence in a stall on Rivington Street to promote a poster campaign which takes ideas that they have featured over the past two years on their Urban Omnibus website and distills them down to …

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“Making Room”: Why Should We Care?


By Jerilyn Perine and Sarah Watson

One of the many ironies of life in New York City is that, in a place where people are obsessed with real estate, housing, and the ensuing discussions about what people have, who has a good deal, and what they pay for it, there is little discussion or even awareness of New York City’s housing standards. And yet it is housing standards that largely determine who lives where and how much they pay for it. These standards implicitly encourage the construction of larger units rather than small ones, make it illegal for more than …

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Where do the different household types live in NYC?

A collection of infographics highlighting... Read more

How do people really live in NYC?

Nuclear family-sourced

CHPC first launched the “Making Room” project in 2007 with the release of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. This long-term sustainability plan predicted that New York City will have to make room for a million more people by 2030. So the research question to begin with was simple – How can the City’s housing inventory accommodate one million more New Yorkers? In response, CHPC developed its own unique methodology for categorizing today’s New York City households, so that a detailed picture of how New Yorkers really live today could be seen. This new methodology was essential because traditional housing data analysis often …

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“Making Room: Reshaping Our Housing Stock for a Real 21st Century Population”

On November 29, 2010 Jerilyn Perine and CHPC Policy Analyst Sarah Watson were invited to give a guest lecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. The topic was CHPC’s research project rethinking the New York City housing unit for our real population, “Making Room”.

A fundamental objective for housing policy in the 20th century in New York City was to eradicate the types of slum housing conditions that had been highlighted by the horrific images in the photographs of Jacob Reis. Reformers began to intervene in the housing market by establishing a set of legal standards for our housing units; …

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Fires and Illegal Occupancy

The site of a deadly fire in the Bronx last weekend at 2321 Prospect Avenue.

Fires have long plagued the housing stock of NYC and our extensive housing, building and fire codes have been a model to improve fire safety in residential buildings. However, as more and more people are unable to find legal and safe accommodations they resort to living in spaces that do not meet the minimum safety requirements: households living in spaces not legal for residential use and households living in spaces that are utilized in ways that are not permitted.

Illegal occupancy can result in loss of life due to fires occurring where escape routes are blocked and/or illegal partitions are …

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One Size Fits Some Symposium

Group Shot 2 (Ted, Paul, Vincente)

In September 2009, CHPC held a unique symposium at the Japan Society of New York which set the stage for Making Room.

Six housing design and planning experts from Tokyo, Barcelona, Leipzig, Montreal and San Diego came to New York City to share their expertise, experience, and insight into designing and planning compact, shared, and flexible housing that better reflect the real needs of our 21st Century households. Each international guest presented their work to an audience of government officials and housing, architecture, and real estate expert and then were interviewed by a variety of industry leaders from New …

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Latest News

  • Making Room: Housing for a Changing America


    COMING SOON! CHPC, in partnership with the National Building Museum, Resource Furniture, and Clei, is organizing a new, exciting exhibition titled, Making Room: Housing for a Changing America showcasing design solutions that help meet the needs of the 21st-century household.

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  • Hidden Housing: Basement Apartments The Case for a Conversion Program for Basement Apartments in NYC

    At a time when new housing is urgently needed, this new CHPC study found that there are between 10,000 and 38,000 potential apartments that could be brought into safe and legal use in New York City without even changing the Zoning Resolution.

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  • All About Basements! Can we boost our housing supply with basement apartments?

    Join us at a launch breakfast for CHPC’s new study on BASEMENT APARTMENT LEGALIZATION to find out! Read more
  • Carmel Place Ribbon Cutting

    Congratulations to Monadnock and their partners on the grand opening of Carmel Place, the first micro-unit building in New York City. Our board members Kirk Goodrich, Lisa Blecker, and Matt Petrula continue to be at the forefront of innovation in housing development, design and finance, helping to improve how New Yorkers live.

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  • Carmel Place, New York’s First Modular Micro Building, Stacks First Unit

    It was a beautiful morning in Kips Bay today, when the first modular unit of New York’s first micro unit building was stacked into place.  

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