Joint Statement of Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and State Senator Robert Jackson in Response to the New York City Planning Commission Meeting on Mechanical Voids Loophole

March 27, 2019

Albany, NY – “The mechanical void loophole is one of the newer contrivances developers are now exploiting to construct extra units of luxury housing. These units sit vacant, but drive up the cost of housing and living for all New Yorkers. These super talls cast a pall of unaffordability over the entire city.

In the last five years, New York City has gone from being the 39th least affordable city in the world to the seventh. We must not allow developers to continue building glass towers for the investor class instead of affordable homes for hardworking New Yorkers and their families.

The vast majority of the advocacy community – landmarks and historic preservation, community groups and concerned community members – believes the 25 feet of void space in every 75 feet included in the current proposal by the New York City Department of City Planning is unnecessary and overly generous. Increasing this further is a gift to accommodate developers.”

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and State Senator Robert Jackson are the prime sponsors of legislation that would amend the multiple dwelling law to close the mechanical void loophole. The legislation would limit void space to no higher than 12 feet, floor to floor, after an initial 20 feet.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is the Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and she represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Senator Robert Jackson represents northern and far western Manhattan, including Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights, and parts of Harlem, the Upper West Side, Hell's Kitchen, and Chelsea.