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HPD’s updated guidelines respond to changing market conditions and encourage the use of emerging best practices in affordable housing construction, such as active design, energy-efficiency and flood resistant construction.

NEW YORK, NY –- (RealEstateRama) — The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today released new design guidelines for the construction of new affordable multifamily new construction and senior housing developments across the city. The revised design requirements reflect emerging best practices and provide greater flexibility in the design of affordable housing. In addition to cost-saving measures that could translate into the construction of more affordable units, the guidelines promote flood resistant construction, active design, and energy efficiency and resource conservation among other key principles of the Mayor de Blasio’s One City: Built to Last, a comprehensive plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over 2005 levels by 2050.

The guidelines announced today also ensure that affordable multifamily new construction and senior housing developments will better align with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five Borough, Ten-Year Housing Plan to create or preserve 200,000 apartments and homes units over the course of a decade.

“Quality design is critical to the long-time sustainability and success of affordable housing developments,” said NYC HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “HPD’s new design guidelines represent the best thinking and practices in construction design, resiliency, and energy efficiency. The revisions also provide much-needed flexibility to help control the cost, maintain the quality, and increase the production of affordable and senior housing. I want to thank the many organizations and partners who worked closely with us to revise these guidelines to ensure that we continue to build high-quality affordable housing for New Yorkers across the city.”

The new version of the guidelines is the product of intense internal evaluations and community feedback. The update was made possible with input from numerous individuals and organizations, including the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), the New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and several members of the affordable housing design community.

“HPD’s new design guidelines strike the perfect balance between ensuring high quality, sustainable design and maximizing limited subsidy dollars for the production of affordable housing units,” said Martin Dunn, President of Dunn Development Corp. and Chair of NYSAFAH’s Policy Committee. “We applaud HPD for successfully implementing such a thoughtful and collaborative process. NYSAFAH’s members look forward to working with the new guidelines to serve the urgent affordable housing needs of low and moderate income New Yorkers.”

“HPD’s New Design Guidelines reflect the changing demographics and needs of the City’s growing population as documented in CHPC’s ongoing study Making Room,” said Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, President of CHPC​. “They are coordinated with the recently enacted Zoning for Quality and Affability to allow for better use of the building envelope. The Guidelines will allow greater flexibility in design, allowing architects to create more housing units to meet the needs of a growing City for affordable housing.”

Some key updates in the multifamily new construction and senior housing development guidelines include:

A clear description of the minimum requirements for building planning (including lobby and circulation, and recommended common spaces) and apartment planning. To allow for greater flexibility in apartment planning, the guidelines now establish a target minimum-maximum range of square footage for each unit type; relax the minimum room dimensions and storage requirements; and permit certain room adjacencies/circulation.

The new design guidelines now include sample sketches of layouts for each unit type. The sample layouts for studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, three-bedrooms, and the newly-added four-bedroom apartments are included to illustrate design options for various conditions, including varying depths of the building floor plate and units located at corner conditions and behind vertical circulation cores. The sketches also show sample unit area calculations to clarify and illustrate how HPD will calculate the square footage for each room type.

In an effort to continue preserving and producing high-quality affordable housing, the document also highlights special considerations and promotes best practices that surpass the requirements of New York City codes and regulations, including accessible design and construction, flood-resistant construction, energy-efficiency and resource conservation, aging-in-place design measures, active design principles, and commercial/retail space considerations.
HPD requires all proposed multi-family new construction and senior housing developments that apply for agency financing to adhere to the guidelines. Design review and compliance with the requirements of the guidelines is a prerequisite to loan closing for any new construction projects developed under HPD loan programs.

When any new construction proposal is presented to HPD, the agency’s design reviews assure that the minimum standards outlined in the guidelines are integrated into the project design. Design reviews also provide guidance to the development team regarding applicable laws, rules, codes, and regulations, including the New York City Building Code, New York City Zoning Resolution, New York City Housing Maintenance Code, New York State Multiple Dwelling Law, the Fair Housing Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To view the multifamily new construction and senior housing development guidelines in their entirety please visit: www.nyc.gov/hpd/developers/guide-to-building-land-development-services.page


New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing.

CONTACT: Melissa Grace (HPD): gracem (at) hpd.nyc (dot) gov


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