Affordable Housing: A Necessity for New Yorkers

May 31, 2023

By Vanessa Saunders Founder/CEO & Principal Broker – Global Property Systems

The term “starter home,” once synonymous with young people building wealth, has become a relic of the past as the average price of homes in the U.S. continues to rise. The lack of affordable housing has sparked a national conversation, but finding solutions has proven to be a challenge. In this article, written for the New York market by Vanessa Saunders, Founder/CEO & Principal Broker – Global Property Systems, and a Certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist, we will explore the factors contributing to the affordable housing crisis and discuss the urgent need for action in the New York market.

The Role of Government and Outdated Zoning Laws:

The cause for the skyrocketing cost of housing can be placed at the feet of government policies, specifically zoning laws. These laws, rooted in racist practices, have perpetuated the affordability problem. Additionally, the notion of the American dream, which equates success with owning a single-family home in the suburbs, has further exacerbated the issue. Outdated zoning codes, often illogical and resistant to change, have hindered the construction of multi-unit dwellings, favoring single-family homes that yield greater profits for builders.

The Building Industry’s Responsibility:

While government policies and NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitudes contribute to the problem, the building industry must also take responsibility. Corporate lobbying has played a role in perpetuating social issues, and it is time for the industry to wield its influence to advocate for transformative housing approaches. By convincing federal, state, and local governments to prioritize affordable housing, the industry can help create opportunities for individuals to build wealth and secure their futures. As a Certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Saunders understands the unique challenges faced by senior homeowners and leads a group of SRES Realtors dedicated to assisting senior homeowners with their moving needs.

The Impact of Consumer Expectations:

Consumer expectations have also played a significant role in the affordability crisis. The demand for single-family homes has soared as success has been defined by owning larger homes. This demand intensified during the pandemic, as people sought more space in the suburbs and small towns. However, this trend has further limited the availability of affordable housing, with real estate investors snatching up properties and reducing the options for average buyers, particularly in neighborhoods where minority populations are concentrated.

Racist Assumptions and Opposition to Affordable Housing:

The issue of affordable housing is entangled with racist assumptions and opposition from homeowners. Many proposals for affordable housing have faced fierce resistance from local residents who fear declining property values and a changing demographic. However, studies have consistently shown that the impact on surrounding home values is negligible at worst. The focus should shift from protecting property values to ensuring that everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.

The Building and Real Estate Sectors’ Role in Driving Change:

In an era where corporate responsibility and sustainability are prioritized, it is high time for the building and real estate sectors to redirect their lobbying efforts toward the social good. While their lobbying expenditures may not match those of other industries, their financial support and advocacy can be instrumental in effecting change. By working alongside governments, non-profit organizations, and community groups, the industry can champion affordable housing initiatives, support zoning reforms, and contribute to the development of mixed-income communities.

Public-Private Partnerships and Financial Incentives:

Public-private partnerships can be powerful vehicles for tackling the affordable housing crisis. Collaboration between developers, housing advocates, and government entities can create mixed-income developments that integrate affordable housing units. Financial incentives, such as tax breaks and subsidies, can encourage developers to include affordable units in their projects, expanding the availability of affordable housing options.


Addressing the affordable housing crisis in New York requires a comprehensive approach. By reforming outdated zoning laws, challenging racist assumptions, engaging in responsible lobbying efforts, fostering public-private partnerships, and promoting financial literacy, we can begin to alleviate the affordability challenges faced by New Yorkers. It is essential for all stakeholders, including government entities, industry leaders, and community members, to come together and prioritize affordable housing as a fundamental pillar of a just and equitable society.

Take Action Today!

The affordable housing crisis in New York demands immediate attention and action. It is time for individuals, organizations, and policymakers to come together and make a difference. Whether you’re a concerned citizen, a community leader, or a real estate professional, you have a role to play in addressing this pressing issue.

Join the movement for affordable housing by taking action now. Start by reaching out to Vanessa Saunders, Founder/CEO & Principal Broker of Global Property Systems, a leading advocate for affordable housing solutions. Visit the following link to connect with Vanessa and her team:

By getting involved, you can contribute to the ongoing efforts to reform zoning laws, challenge discriminatory practices, and promote financial literacy. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable housing market that ensures safe and affordable housing for all.

Don’t wait for change to happen—be part of the solution. Contact Global Property Systems today and let your voice be heard. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of countless New Yorkers and build a brighter future for our communities.



Get in touch for a confidential conversation with  “no strings” attached.

Translate »

Subscribe to the Global Property Systems Blog

Receive a new post by email every time it's published!

Complete the form below: