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NEW YORK — Some of the estimated 1,000 vacant lots across New York will be converted into affordable housing as part of a new NYC Housing Preservation and Development partnership with the American Institute of Architects.

Every square inch of real estate is premium in a place like New York. With that in mind, 23 lots across the city, many of which are small, oddly shaped eyesores, will be converted. Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood Strategies Lelia Bozorg says the city is working on it because neighborhoods are changing and New Yorkers are being priced out of them.

“It’s one way to explore different models of housing, which is really important in a city like ours,” Bozorg said.

One lot being converted on West 136th Street is 17 feet wide. Design is difficult because the lots are often so small.

Four hundred designers from around the world competed to renovate the properties. Only five – all New York based – were chosen.

Future tenants will have to go through the housing lottery to live in these new buildings. The lists are not yet ready.

These buildings are not yet under construction.

Information on the finalists is available here: