Quality Housing Program NYC

by | Last updated May 25, 2023 | NYC DOB, NYC Zoning, Property Development

What is the Quality Housing Program?

The Quality Housing Program (QHP) is a set of zoning regulations in New York City that intends to maintain the existing character of specific neighborhoods and provide amenities for the building occupants. The program enforces additional standards for building developments, including bulk regulations. QHP is mandatory in R6 through R10 contextual zoning districts and optional in all other R6 through R10 zones.


Quality Housing Program

Sometimes people confuse the Quality Housing Program with the Inclusionary Housing Program. These are two different things. The Quality Housing Program has nothing to do with affordable housing, whereas the Inclusionary Housing Program promotes affordable housing. You can have a development with both Inclusionary Housing and Quality Housing.


Quality Housing Program Mandatory Zoning Districts

The Quality Housing Program is mandatory in R6 through R10 Contextual Zoning Districts. Here is a list of the mandatory contextual zones.


Quality Housing Program Optional Zoning Districts

The Quality Housing Program is optional in applicable noncontextual zoning districts. Here is a list of these zones.

Quality Housing Program building Design

Quality Housing Program building Design: R7D with Inclusionary Housing


Quality Housing Program in NYC

The Quality Housing Program (QHP) was created as a response to Height Factor Zoning. Height Factor is based on the Tower In The Park urban planning concept. Height factor buildings tend to be tall and skinny. QHP was initiated to promote the development of shorter, wider buildings that would more likely fit into their surroundings. In many cases, NYC Zoning offers slightly higher floor areas on quality Housing buildings. So a developer can get a larger building in square footage even though it may not be as tall. Quality Housing also has required setbacks, a typical New York architecture design.


Quality Housing Program Deductions And Requirements

Additional zoning deductions will allow a developer to make a larger building when using Quality Housing. These deductions are generally small and will not significantly increase the size of a building but can have a some impact on the overall square footage. 


Elevated Ground Floor Zoning Deduction

Quality Housing buildings with an elevated ground floor entered by stairs, ramp, or lift with apartments on the first floor can have some zoning deductions. You can deduct 100 square feet for every 1 foot above the curb of the first floor. This deduction can be applied to the entryway of the building. The maximum deduction is 500 square feet.

This deduction does not apply to the apartments or any other accessory space.


Refuse storage and Disposal Requirements and Zoning Deduction.

You must provide garbage storage and disposal if you have more than nine apartments per vertical circulation core. One garbage storage space of 2.9 cubic feet must be provided per apartment. On every floor, you must also have a minimum of twelve square foot trash room. You can deduct twelve square feet of the trash room from the zoning floor area.


Laundry Facilities Zoning Deductions

If you provide a laundry facility, you can deduct the floor area of that space from the zoning floor area. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria.

  • Minimum one washer per twenty apartments
  • Minimum one dryer per forty apartments
  • Minimum three square feet for chairs and laundry folding table
  • Windows must be provided with a square footage of at least 9.5% of the laundry room floor area. Windows must face a street, yard, or court as defined in the zoning code.


Daylight In Corridors Zoning Deductions

If you provide a window in the public corridors, you can deduct up to 50% of the floor area of such corridors. To qualify, you must meet the following standards.

  • The window must be at least 20 square feet.
  • Glass must be clear, no tints.
  • The window must be visible from at least 50% of the corridor.
  • Windows must face a street, yard, or court as the zoning code defines.


Density Per Corridor Zoning Deduction

If you meet the following criteria, 50% of a corridor floor area can be deducted from the zoning floor area. If the corridor serves less than a certain number of apartments per core. Here are the maximum number of apartments served by each corridor per floor.

  • R6 & R7 Zoning – 11 apartments
  • R8 Zoning – 10 apartments
  • R9 & R10 – 8 apartments


Parking Screening Requirement

If you provide parking, it must be screened and not visible from the apartments, adjacent buildings, and the street.

Parking is not allowed in front of the building.

R6A Zoning Example Quality Housing Program and Inclusionary Housing

R6A Zoning Example Quality Housing Program and Inclusionary Housing


NYC Quality Housing Program

I study Zoning Codes closely as an architect, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article, we reviewed some of the basics concerning the Quality Housing Program in NYC. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition but provides a general overview of the topic.


Thank You for reading our post in the NYC Quality Housing Program.

If you would like to speak with an architect familiar with the Quality Housing Program, please contact us directly. We are happy to hear about your upcoming projects.


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Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.