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Open the rooftops, NYC: If coronavirus is keeping New Yorkers off the streets, we need to be able to use our roofs

This is a luxury. In the New York metro region, only 21% of people living in multifamily buildings (five units or more) have access to a “porch, deck, balcony or patio” from their apartment, according to the latest American Housing Survey. The discrepancy is even more stark as you go down the income scale, declining to just 15% for people under two times the poverty line. Almost none of the more than 400,000 public housing residents in New York City, for example, have any kind of access to outdoor space from their apartments.

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