In the Media

CHPC’s expertise has been valued for over 70 years and our non-partisan analysis and opinion features widely in the media. You can read all of our latest press mentions here.

De Blasio Pushes on Land Use, Laura Kusisto,September 6, 2013

Land-use policy has gotten little attention in the mayor’s race, but political observers say it is an issue over which the mayor can exert significant influence. He or she appoints the majority of the City Planning Commission, including the chair. The mayor also established priorities for rezonings, which the City Planning Department carries out. Promoting high-density development can add to the tax base and shore up tight municipal budgets. The Bloomberg administration rezoned about 30% of the city, with a goal of transforming industrial areas like Hudson Yards, West Chelsea and the waterfront into hotbeds of luxury housing.

Mr. de Blasio has said he would shorten the timeline for debate on developments before they enter the formal approval process and promote more neighborhood-wide rezonings, as opposed to forcing developers to seek approval for large new projects individually. Mr. de Blasio, along with others, also supports so-called mandatory inclusionary zoning, requiring affordable units when areas are rezoned.

Some questioned whether including a smattering of affordable units in new luxury towers—which would likely still need some mix of government subsidies—is the best way to create a more equal city, as opposed to building affordable projects in low-income neighborhoods. “It’s not going to help central Brooklyn,” said Jerilyn Perine, executive director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council, a nonprofit group. “It’s not going to help the housing problems in the South Bronx.”

Newser shacks up with wife in one of Bloomberg’s “Mike-ros” mini-apartments, Mike Chaban, Friday September 6, 2013

My wife and I are intimate again — thanks to the Bloomberg administration’s latest housing initiative.

The micro-apartments — which actually start at just 250 square feet — are so small that you need a bed that snaps back into the wall, anything bigger than a toy poodle is a monster, and dinner parties are like a game of Twister.

But we made the most of it, hosting two friends to our pad (actually a model apartment that’s on display at the Museum of the City of New York). And the tiny apartment — at last the tricked-out one at the museum — actually has some nifty features.

Museum of the City of New York Extends Micro-Unit Exhibition; Launches Contest, August 26, 2013

The Museum of the City of New York is extending its popular exhibition, Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers – complete with a fully built “micro-unit” – to September 15th due to popular demand.

Organized in conjunction with Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), Making Room was due to close its doors Labor Day weekend. But in August, the exhibition continued to draw throngs of visitors from the region, country and around the globe.


Museum of the City of New York Extends Popular Micro-Unit Exhibition, Launches Contest to Win $1,000 Transformable Furniture Piece, August 26, 2013

The Museum of the City of New York is extending its popular exhibition, Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers – complete with a fully built “micro-unit” – to September 15th due to popular demand.

Organized in conjunction with Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), Making Room was due to close its doors Labor Day weekend. But in August, the exhibition continued to draw throngs of visitors from the region, country and around the globe.

Tiny apartments get test-drive in NYC museum design exhibit

Real Estate Weekly, August 22, 2013

Before Terri Lee could start a cooking demonstration at the Museum of the City of New York last week, she had to demonstrate a few other things.

Her audience was clustered, confused expressions on their faces, in one end of the 325 s/f model apartment in the museum’s third-floor gallery. Some people were standing in the kitchen area itself, inches from Lee’s elbows. In a matter of minutes, however, folding chairs were produced from a rack by the entryway, and a small ottoman unfolded to produce five low stools.

The model apartment is part of MCNY’s “Making Room, an exhibit dedicated to the design of small apartments to accommodate the city’s growing single population.

The exhibit was first suggested by the Citizen’s Housing & Planning Council and not intentionally timed to coincide with the Bloomberg administration’s recent foray into allowing apartments smaller than the current minimum of 400 s/f, according to the exhibit’s curator, Donald Albrecht.

Museum of the City of New York unveils Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers, August 20, 2013

The Museum of the City of New York has opened Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers, organized in conjunction with Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC). The exhibition offers insights into how New York City’s changing social, economic, and cultural lives, especially the rise of single adults, are re-shaping urban households, and how design can help re-shape the city’s housing stock for New Yorkers at all phases of their lives.

“This exhibition will give the public a chance to see how our talented designers believe housing can be reshaped to better meet the needs of our 21st century New York City,” said CHPC Executive Director, Jerilyn Perine. “Seeing what is being built in cities around the world, and understanding how our rules have held back housing change, will help educate visitors and spur an important discussion of what our future housing should look like and how we can get there. And most exciting is the chance to experience an actual apartment built with minimum space and environmental impact that is beautifully designed and creates a wonderful place to live.”

Time to Make Room, Sarah Watson, August 19, 2013

Single people are taking over U.S. cities. The numbers are so staggering that it’s hard to understand why housing policy has been so slow to react. In New York City, a third of all households are single people living alone. San Francisco beats New York at 38 percent, and Washington, D.C., Seattle and Denver top the charts for larger cities, with over 40 percent of their homes occupied by a lone resident.  But even in smaller cities like Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, single people make up close to half of their households.

One reason it is difficult for policy makers, and the market, to digest these astounding numbers is our confused definition of household. Since the 1950 census, “household” has been synonymous with “family.” Data splits households into family and nonfamily categories, relegating single people and their housing need to an oddity. This idea of household equaling family also keeps our housing supply frozen in the 1950s and even permeates our housing vocabulary, as in “multifamily buildings” and “single-family homes.”

To address these challenges, the Citizens Housing & Planning Council created a more realistic, demandbased analysis of how our population really lives.  We found that a quarter of all New York City homes and apartments are being shared in some way. Adult children are staying in the family home for longer.  Older single relatives are moving in with family members. Strangers are banding together to find housing through Craigslist, creating unnaturally high household incomes, which distorts the housing market by pushing up rental prices.

Micro-Housing, New York’s Newest Housing Option

Epoch Times,Genevieve Belmaker, August 17, 2013

Finding just the right place to live is a persistent problem for New Yorkers, and it’s likely to get worse. The city predicts that in the next 20 years, the population will reach 9 million people. Even today, the city’s 1.8 million one- and two-person households face a specific problem: there are only one million studios and one-bedroom apartments available.

To help visualize what life in 325 square feet would look like, the Museum of the City of New York has been hosting an exhibition of a sample unit throughout the summer. The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 2, is now hosting a string of 24-hour residents from different walks of life in the space, which is equipped with a queen-sized bed, flat-screen TV, desk, couch, and kitchen table. Residents so far have included two bloggers, two museum interns, and a couple who hosted a dinner party for 8.

For the organization behind the museum exhibit, Citizens Housing Planning Council (CHPC), solutions like micro-apartments for New York City are part of its core mission. The independent, non-profit research organization’s Making Room Initiative is honed in on diversifying New York City’s housing stock and getting past the behemoth housing and zoning laws that they feel limit the possibilities.

“Making Room is more about how our physical space should evolve,” said Sarah Watson, deputy director of CHPC, who added that New York City had the first housing policies in the country. That history brings with it a litany of laws and codes that have been layered over the years, instead of reformed, updated, or removed completely to make room for new policies.

Is this the future of NYC living? Museum showcases ‘micro’ apartments, August 17, 2013

In New York, we’ve become accustomed to living in tight quarters — jammed packed living spaces with hardly enough room to breathe, let-alone live.

But at the Museum of the City of New York, there seems to be a solution.

The exhibit showcases how two people could live in an itty-bitty-spot known as a micro-apartment and still find a way to live comfortably.

New York Women Spend Night Camping Out In Model Micro-Unit

CBS New York, August 17, 2013

Many New Yorkers live in small apartments. Most of them don’t camp out in a micro-unit at a museum to demonstrate the virtues of small-space living. That’s what Challie Stillman and Lina Franco are doing.

The apartment is part of an exhibit that runs through Sept. 2 called “Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers.”

The apartment features space-saving furniture and under-the-counter appliances. The couple invited six friends for dinner their first night. They had food delivered.

Micro-Apartment Exhibition Shows New Yorkers How To Live Large In Small Spaces

www.NY1, Jill Urban, August 16, 2013.

Even though people pay big to live in this city, most New Yorkers live small, and some live really small.

At the Museum of the City of New York’s special micro-apartment exhibition, there will be a series of seminars that will help people who live in a box learn to think outside of one.

“We’re standing in a 325-square-foot micro-unit,” says Donald Albrecht, a curator with MCNY. “It is 75 square feet smaller than what’s currently allowed in New York City, and over the next few weeks, we’re going to be doing a series of demonstrations that actually show how you can live in such a space.”

From now through Labor Day, visitors can experience the space and gain tips from experts on how to use a small space efficiently.

Trying Out Micro-Apartments at the Museum of the City of New York

WNYC News, Kristofer Venezia, August 16, 2013

Some New Yorkers may soon be living in apartments roughly half the size of a city subway car. So the Museum of the City of New York decided to install one and have some New Yorkers try them out.

Over a four-day period this week, five locals are taking turns living in the micro-unit apartment that the museum set up back in January. That month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had announced that the city’s contest to find a micro-unit design of about  250 to 400 square feet had found a winner: Actors Fund Housing Development Corp, and nARCHITECTS will build the city’s first 55-unit micro-apartment building in Kip’s Bay.