In March and April of 1933, the NYC Tenement House Department hired 800 emergency workers including unemployed architects, engineers, and real estate professionals. Over the course of two months, the team surveyed an astounding 128,344 Class A Multiple Dwelling Units.
What they found was shocking. Click on the link below and what you’ll find is that vacancy rates were an incredible 14.4 percent—thousands of apartments literally sat empty. Meanwhile, the ranks of the homeless on New York City ’s streets continued to grow, unable to afford the rent for these vacant units.
This study, found in our archives, was the first to lay the groundwork for the Pack Law which was passed as an amendment to the Multiple Dwelling Law (§248) to permit the conversion of Class A Multiple Dwellings to SRO units in 1939.
Click here to download the full PDF.