NYC Lost 40% of its Affordable Housing Over the Last Decade

A new study by the Community Service Society has found that New York City lost an astonishing percentage of apartments affordable to low-income residents over the past decade. The study supports Mayor de Blasio's "tale of two cities" narrative.
January 13, 2014, 8am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Mike Goren

To achieve his goal of expanding the city's supply of affordable housing, a new report suggests New York mayor Bill de Blasio has a tough task ahead of him. "The Bloomberg administration marshaled billions of dollars to create and preserve affordable housing, but a new report said the city lost 40% of apartments for low-income residents over the last decade," reports Laura Kusisto. 

From 2002 through 2011, the city lost more than 385,000 units of housing that would be affordable to a demographic that makes up about 40% of the city, she explains. 

"Affordable-housing advocates point to a couple of factors: One is the ability of landlords to raise rents after renovating rent-regulated apartments, eventually allowing them to convert those apartments to market-rate. Another is rapidly increasing rents in gentrifying areas, such as Harlem and the Corona neighborhood of Queens."

Advocates and scholars disagree on whether strengthening rent-stabilization laws or encouraging the construction of more market-rate housing offers the best solution.

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Published on Thursday, January 9, 2014 in The Wall Street Journal
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