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.