The Housing Not Warehousing Act will add transparency and accountability to vacant public and private property in our neighborhoods. This package of three bills will

  • create a registry that all individuals and corporations holding their property vacant have to enter or pay penalties for failure to register (Intro 1034)
  • mandate the City perform an annual count of all vacant property in New York City (Intro 1036)
  • require the City to compile a list of all city, state, federally, and authority-owned vacant property suitable for the development of affordable* housing (Intro 1039)
    *We will still need to work together to make sure this means affordable to the right people, the ones in the neighborhood now.

Here are three things you can do to support it:

1. Ask your Council Member to sponsor it, or thank them if they do! 

More than half of our elected advocates in City Council support the Housing Not Warehousing Act! Find out if yours does with this map. Then look up your Council Member’s number here, and use these scripts:

For Council Members that sponsor it:

Hi, my name is ____________ and I am a constituent of Council Member _____. I am calling to thank the Council Member for co-sponsoring the Housing Not Warehousing Act, and to say we’re counting on them to vote YES when Intro 1034, 1036, and 1039 come to a vote!

For non-sponsors:


Hi, my name is ____________ and I am a constituent of Council Member _____. I am calling to ask the Council Member to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Housing Not Warehousing Act, a landmark package of bills that will empower the city to finally quantify vacant buildings and lots throughout the five boroughs, and create pathways to transform these properties into housing. Please call [Central Staff?] and add your name to Intros 1034, 1036, and 1039 today!

2. Endorse the Act with your garden group, block association, business club or organization!

Join 596 Acres in endorsing these bills!  To become an endorser, email The more of us that speak out in favor of this Act, the louder our voices! 596 Acres testified in support of it before the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings in September 2016; read our testimonies here.

3. Join next Thursday, May 4 at 12pm for a rally and community visioning session at a vacant public lot in the South Bronx (!


As an action to demonstrate the need for this Act, Picture the Homeless and Banana Kelly are holding a rally and visioning session for a vacant city-owned lot at 1390 Stebbins Avenue at East 170th Street next Thursday at noon. The city has abandoned this land since the 1980s! If you can’t make it, sign up to Organize here for updates:

By mandating that the City inventory our vacant public property holdings, opportunities for residents and communities to partner with the City to steward this public land for public good (i.e. permanently affordable housing, community and cooperative space) will become more visible. This community visioning session will highlight the potential!

Miss this Vacancy Visioning Session? Stay tuned for more!

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