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Showing posts from 2016

What can New York City leaders do to retain and build affordable housing?

There are actions we can take to retain and build low-income housing:
The collusion between landlords, state officials and state and city legislators who control housing law is a story yet to be told but at a minimum the state must end vacancy destabilization and give the city control over rent control and rent stabilization units. In order to wrestle rent regulation away from the state, the Democratic Party has to take back the New York Senate. Every mayor in modern times, including Bloomberg, could have limited the rent increases in rent stabilization apartments if they had chosen pro-tenant appointees to the Rent Guidelines Board but they did not. Mayor de Blasio has named people to the board who voted to freeze increases. This needs to continue.Another part of the loss of affordable housing was through the loss of apartments in the Mitchell-Lama program or other programs that give tax exemptions in return for affordable units. The answer to the lack of affordable units stares all N…

Low-Income Housing

The lack of low-income housing lies at the feet of the federal government. America built housing for those in poverty for sixty years from the 30s to the 70s. Then it was over. Private developers took over, backed by federal tax credit incentives to build low-income housing. It was at this point that the homeless population in the states began to rise substantially.

Although many reasons have been given for the lack of sufficient low-income housing, such as the coop and condo conversions, vacancy decontrol and rising construction costs, the fact remains that, since the Great Depression, the only time this country had built large numbers of low-income housing units was when the federal government was building them.

Since private developers made far more profit building luxury housing, private developers have been quite reluctant to build sufficient low-income housing even with tax credits and incentives. Although tax incentives have provided developers some impetus to build low-income …