Long Island Index Releases Interactive Map and Report Describing Multifamily Housing on Long Island Including Rentals, Coops and Condos

The Map Enables Long Islanders, for the First Time, to Search Online for Multifamily Housing Locations – Built or Underway – in any Community in Nassau or Suffolk Counties.

Garden City, NY – March 2, 2016 – The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, today released a new interactive map, and an accompanying report, of multifamily housing on Long Island – a pressing need for Long Island’s economic future. This is the first time that data on multifamily housing locations has been collected comprehensively island-wide for the purpose of publicly mapping and analyzing Long Island’s multifamily housing stock.

The map – available at http://multifamily.longislandindexmaps.org/ – provides the first and only online bird’s-eye-view of multifamily housing across both counties, as well as a wealth of detail within each community and for each individual housing site. The map displays rental and coop/condo locations in an easy-to-use format, enabling Long Islanders to explore any community on the island. Multifamily housing is defined as any building with three or more attached residential units and includes both rentals and owner-occupied buildings such as co-ops and condominiums.

The accompanying report – titled “Mapping Long Island’s Rentals” (available at http://multifamily.longislandindexmaps.org/ as well as www.longislandindex.org) – reveals the following:

  • The interactive map covers 1,456 rental buildings and 882 coops and condos across both counties; it also identifies 113 projects (rentals and coops/condos) that are in the pipeline– ranging from those that have been proposed to those that are currently under construction.
  • All told, Long Island’s existing 2,338 multifamily buildings represent approximately 162,000 apartment units. The 113 pipeline projects – if they are all built as currently planned – would bring another 26,000 units of housing to the region.
  • Historically, a substantial amount of rental housing on Long Island was built near train stations (as much as 50% before the 1960s), but the number of rental units built near LIRR stations from the 1970s to 2000 fell steadily; now only 30% of Long Island’s existing rental units in apartment buildings are within a half-mile of a train station.
  • In recent years (since 2000) the number of rental units near train stations has increased, but that appears to be only a temporary reversal: the percentage of planned rental units near train stations has once again fallen. Only 27% of the proposed rental apartments in Long Island’s pipeline are within a half-mile of a train station.

The interactive map is especially valuable at a time when addressing the need for more multifamily housing – especially in downtown areas – is a crucial priority for Long Island’s economic future. A recent report by the Long Island Index revealed that, while Long Island is building more multifamily housing than it has in decades, an enormous gap exists between what is being produced and what the region needs to facilitate economic growth and retain and attract younger workers. The report found that to up to 94,000 new, multifamily, housing units will be needed in the next 15 years, if the Long Island economy is to thrive. Most of those units are needed in walkable, mixed-use, downtown areas that young people prize.

The interactive map provides a powerful tool for community residents, elected officials, housing researchers, and the media. By hovering a computer mouse over the mapped housing locations or over the decade-by-decade list in the legend, the map comes alive with information and revealing geographic patterns. Some interesting highlights include the following:

  • The map displays each housing location with a different color icon, corresponding to the decade in which it was built. Hover over an icon or click it to display more details such as address, number of units, and whether the property is subsidized or market rate.
  • The map also displays housing developments “in the pipeline”, based on expected completion date.
  • Clicking on the map or searching by village/hamlet name will zoom to your community and provide local statistics on the number of properties and units, plus a list of local developments. Click or hover over the list to highlight each location on the map and display further development details.
  • The map shows downtown areas to pinpoint which developments were built near train stations or downtown hubs, bus and LIRR routes to show where housing is easily accessible by public transit (or not), and land use patterns by parcel including potentially developable areas in downtowns.

“This map is an exciting breakthrough for its dynamic presentation of where we have multifamily housing and in what forms,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, President of the Rauch Foundation. “Hopefully this tool will assist in developing the kind of land policy changes that other suburban regions have adopted, where permits are expedited for multifamily housing when it is built within walking distance of a train station.”

The Long Island Index’s interactive maps have been developed in collaboration with the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Steven Romalewski, Director of the Graduate Center’s Mapping Service, said, “This map is unique and precedent-setting. It makes available in an interactive format, for the first time, the locations of multifamily housing in both counties. It provides easily accessible information that we hope will inform the public discussion that is needed about the future of multifamily housing on Long Island.”

For further information, contact Bob Meadows at Goodman Media: (bmeadows@goodmanmedia.com).