“Scaffold Law is holding back affordable housing”

In an Op-Ed in Crain’s New York Business titled “New York's Scaffold Law is holding back affordable housing” Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), stresses the immediate need to reform “the archaic Scaffold Law [which] stands between New Yorkers and the high-quality, modern infrastructure they deserve.”

Milstein urges the state to “engage in some serious soul-searching following the social and economic devastation of the pandemic, which underscored the fragility of the housing situation in the state.”


This “byzantine system” has “real-life consequences for the low- and middle-income households that form the backbone of the Empire State. Analysis shows that the Scaffold Law drives up construction costs as much as 7% on a given project; without it, New York could have created and preserved an additional 12,600 affordable homes in the past five years alone.”


The NYSAFAH president and CEO reminds us that the Scaffold Law was enacted a decade before The Bronx joined NYC and its reform should be simple, simpler than changes in zoning and land use. In her own words, “we just have to have the will and the conviction to finally do it.”