Ask a random person what zoning is about and he is likely to conjure up images of committee hearings and unintelligible jargon. But zoning is a crucial factor in housing affordability and the quality of life in New York City.
Consider that from 2011 to 2015 the city added 62,345 units of housing—enough to accommodate about 125,000 people—as the population increased by more than 300,000, to more than 8.5 million. The population is on pace to reach 9 million in 2021. Meanwhile, housing costs are likely to rise in no small part because of zoning that effectively limits housing construction.