Monday, July 22, 2013

Why New York Why? Why the shortage of affordable housing?

The answer it seems goes back many many years!

I was having lunch recently with a friend of mine and the topic of our kids living in New York City came up.

While living in NYC is the dream for many young adults, the nightmare reality is that rents are so high that few can afford to actually achieve it.

The sad fact is that the average cost for a rental apartment in Manhattan is now over $3,000 a month while some are paying much more than that for a studio that is barely bigger than a walk-in closet.

Why is this the case and wouldn't the problem be solved by more subsidized housing being built? Not necessarily!

Why are New York City rents so damn high?

So, as the various mayoral candidates proclaim, why isn't the answer to build more units of subsidized housing?

According to the article 'The Frozen City', the author explains why the problem of affordable housing isn't necessarily due to a shortage of subsidized housing but instead because of a history of too much subsidized housing.

It’s hard to blame New Yorkers for thinking that the city should “seek to create additional units of below–market rate affordable housing,” as 71 percent of respondents answered in a Zogby poll commissioned by the Manhattan Institute. After all, New York residents continually see evidence of a dysfunctional housing market: high rents; low vacancy rates; young adults tripled up in tiny apartments; illegal and unsafe conversions to divide old units into new ones; stratospheric prices for co-ops and condos in high-income neighborhoods. No serious political voice has argued for trying to solve these problems with anything but more subsidized construction.

Read The Frozen City in its entirety at City here.

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