On Friday, May 13, AIA New York and the Center for Architecture are hosting a half-day conference, “NYC’s Housing Crisis,” which aims to address the causes of and possible solutions to New York City’s escalating housing crisis. The city was already plagued by housing shortages and unaffordability before the pandemic, with more than half of New Yorkers unable to afford their rent and a 59 percent increase in the number of people living in the city’s shelters between 2009 and 2019. The pandemic has only exacerbated economic inequalities, and housing prices, after a brief dip in 2021, have returned to sky-high pre-pandemic levels. Since the federal government’s two-year eviction moratorium expired in March, landlords have been filing about 2,000 eviction cases weekly.

Mayor Eric Adams’s administration has made targeting homelessness a key issue, but critics say his punitive approach—clearing encampments and policing the subways—fails to address the root causes of the issue. Adams pledged an additional $177 million for the expansion of homeless services and shelters in his budget for this year, to be finalized at the end of June. He has also proposed allocating $22 billion to build and preserve New York’s affordable housing supply over the next decade–shy of a campaign promise to spend $4 billion a year–which housing advocates say is not nearly enough.

The conference, which is being held from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation branch of the New York Public Library at 455 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, will bring together leading housing experts, policymakers, community activists, planners, and designers to tackle the intertwined issues of housing affordability and homelessness in New York City. “NYC’s Housing Crisis” is supported by IDC, with Architectural Record as the media sponsor. To see the agenda, list of speakers, and register, visit the AIA New York website.