Immigration has always been a key force driving New York City’s success. Millions of newcomers from across the globe have led the city’s growth and prosperity and shaped the unique cultural fabric of its neighborhoods. The role of these residents is more pressing than ever, yet many of their housing needs are insufficiently met.

The next housing plan could align the city’s housing policy with its past, present, and future as a city of immigrants.

New York City’s current housing plan aims solely to create and preserve a target number of affordable units, without regard for the broad spectrum of housing needs that exist across its diverse population. Depending on family and household structures and preferred living arrangements, immigrant New Yorkers may not be best served by prevailing housing typologies. Residents lacking proficiency in English may face difficulty navigating resources to access affordable, high-quality housing.

The next housing plan could address these disparities and more to align the city’s housing policy with its past, present, and future as a city of immigrants.

Released in February 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, CHPC’s issue brief lays out key figures highlighting the integral role of immigrants in New York City’s success, and makes a case for the need to adopt an “immigrant lens” for a new housing plan. 

By Sheena Kang, February 2020
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Explore the initiative


Housing Plan for a City of Immigrants is part of A New Lens for NYC’s Housing Plan, CHPC’s research and education initiative to explore how New York City’s next housing plan could have a broader impact beyond counting units. The next housing plan provides an opportunity for communities and policymakers to widen the discussion, articulate new metrics, and develop a shared vision of housing policy for the city.

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