Housing October 5, 2023

In the News: 5BORO Institute releases new report on innovative office-to-housing conversion plan (NY1)

Watch the full interview on NY1.


As office vacancy rates skyrocket and available affordable housing continues to decrease, advocates and the city are looking for new ways to combat New York’s ever-growing housing crisis.

While the Adams administration has been pushing to turn empty offices in Midtown into new homes, developers and landlords have found it a challenging task.

A new report though is outlining new ways to do just that: one proposal involves creating flexible co-living spaces, where offices would be converted into individual bedrooms with shared kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms.

The plan would not only create more supply, but also lower construction costs and hopefully make rents more affordable.

The report is by 5BORO Institute, a think tank looking to tackle some of the city’s most challenging problems.

Grace Rauh, the executive director of 5BORO Institute and a former NY1 political reporter, joined NY1 political anchor Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” Thursday to talk more about the findings in the report.

“Right now, the cost of housing and the lack of available housing is a huge barrier to entry for people who want to come here, build their careers here, and even for longtime New Yorkers,” said Rauh. “Given the state of the crisis right now, and the opportunity that we have with vacant office space … the city should be innovating and experimenting.”