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August 18, 2022 4:53 pm

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Brooklyn News Review

Brannan’s Bill Creates Office of Adaptive Reuse Task Force

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Councilman Justin Brannan announced that the New York City Office Adaptive Reuse Task Force, created in accordance with a bill he sponsored and passed in 2021, had convened and started their work in earnest. As required in Brannan’s 2021 bill, the Task Force will study the questions of whether and how the city can make future use of vacant, obsolete office space. Amid ongoing homelessness and affordability crises, the task force will prioritize assessing whether large office buildings can be safely and cost effectively converted into affordable housing. The Task Force will also look at the feasibility of converting vacant office space into schools, labs, and more.

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The Task Force includes experts from across related fields in housing, construction, labor, policy, and advocacy; with appointees made by the Mayor, the Council, and the Public Advocate. It is chaired by NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Dan Garodnick, and also includes leaders from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB), the labor union 32BJ SEIU, advocacy organization Housing Justice for All, and other industry organizations. Brannan believes the Task Force’s work is as timely as it is crucial.

“Could we actually convert vacant office space into affordable housing in New York City? Let’s stop talking about it and let’s figure it out,” said Councilman Brannan. “This work is starting in a unique moment. COVID has only exacerbated our city’s affordable housing crisis and thereby an increase in New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. We have historic housing court backlogs, rising rents, and increased medical risks for those without shelter all happening at the same time. In the very same moment – also due to the pandemic – we have whole industries pivoting away from in-person work, leaving large swaths of office space sitting empty and unlikely to be back in use any time soon. If we can find a good way to convert these buildings into affordable housing, we could equip ourselves to making significant progress in these multiple crises at the same time.”

The task force began work in July 2022, and will continue to research and meet regularly over the next handful of months. The task force’s work will complement that of the “New” New York Blue-Ribbon Committee, created by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to more broadly examine the future of the New York City metro region’s economy. Ultimately, the Office Adaptive Reuse Task Force will issue a report on its findings and recommend legal and regulatory changes to support productive new uses for obsolete office buildings.

The task force is expected to conclude and publish its work by the end of the year. Members of the public who want to provide ideas and feedback can do so by sending an email to

The post Brannan’s Bill Creates Office of Adaptive Reuse Task Force appeared first on Shorefront News.

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