Gardiner Anderson / New York Daily News

NY - Overhaul Zoning for a Changing Climate

New York City’s floodplain is home to 55,000 rent-regulated homes, a figure that’s likely to double, if not triple, by 2050 as sea levels rise and the floodplain increases.

Housing in the floodplain includes affordable housing for workforce, seniors, and families and is the foundation for community resilience and preservation.

As thousands of households are held captive by the COVID-19 pandemic in their homes, we know that housing also provides critical refuge to ensure the health and safety of all New Yorkers. To protect these homes from damage and prevent the displacement of thousands of households and businesses in New York City’s floodplain, we need to adapt our waterfronts to the changing conditions by putting forward model zoning and land-use regulations and standing up programs and policies that reflect the needs and input of communities living in the floodplain.

The City of New York’s forward-thinking proposal of Zoning for Coastal Flood Resiliency (ZCFR), led by the City of New York’s Planning Department, will help build and retrofit housing located in New York’s floodplain to reduce damage and disruption from flooding and other climate risks such as extreme heat and extreme precipitation. This proposal will also catalyze preservation of housing, infrastructure, and communities — and offer the opportunity to generate job growth and encourage workforce and economic development to protect and preserve housing and infrastructure at a time where our city is reeling from job loss and small business turndown.

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