By Stuart Soffer
Think housing is expensive here? NYC struggles with affordable housing.Uploaded: Jun 8, 2014
This morning's New York Times has a good article ("Affordable Housing That's Very Costly") on efforts in NYC to increase affordable housing (whatever that means). A market rate 2-bedroom apartment is going for almost $8700/ month.
None of what is explained is new to New York. Indeed, the long existing "rent-control" programs began after WW2 to reward returning servicemen/women and help get them onto better economic footing after having been separated from their families for some years. Indeed, I grew up in rent-controlled housing (as most everyone that I knew at the time). Rent-controlled housing is basically middle class housing.
I'll point out that there is another housing model in NYC, the coop. A coop building is owned by a corporation. Instead of buying a condo, people buy shares in a coop for a unit. It's an interesting creature: one must apply, interview and be approved by the coop board ? your neighbors - to get your apartment.
The article makes the point that I recognized in Menlo Park ? that mandating low incoming housing increases the costs for everyone else, exacerbating the entry cost for others. It seems they have the erroneous assumption that getting what we call a 'below market rate' fee of developers, and then accumulating that for the city to spend on housing, never gets the amount of housing that could be consumed.