This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the Housing Not Warehousing Act, designed to help identify vacant sites that could be used for affordable housing development.

The bill requires the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to report on the vacant buildings or lots under the jurisdiction of HPD, categorized by the potential to be developed or the feasibility of development of those buildings or lots as affordable housing.

The New York City Council passed the bill and its counterpart in December.

Proponents of the bill argue that the development of the volume of units needed to meaningfully address the need that the city faces in this area requires full knowledge of all resources and tools available.

“For the first time in its history, New York City will be empowered to conduct a census of vacant property,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, who was the prime sponsor of the bill. “The affordable housing and homelessness crisis we face presents an incredibly complex problem, and enacting this legislation provides us with an essential tool toward creating solutions.”

The de Blasio administration has announced its new goal of creating or preserving 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026.