What The NY Times Got Wrong About Inclusionary Zoning

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio released a 10-year plan to create or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units in the city. Housing activists cheer at its embrace of mandatory inclusionary zoning, but the NY Time's coverage reveals an ignorant counter view.
May 22, 2014, 5am PDT | jodi@nhi.org | @shelterforce
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Mandatory inclusionary housing programs are not new. They've been embraced in a number of communities since the early 1970s, resulting in hundreds of thousands of affordable units being created.

But when NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio released a 10-year housing plan with a mandatory inclusionary zoning program, the response from the New York Times was anything but supportive.

New York City has a huge housing deficit. As Alan Mallach explains, "New York City’s leaders have determinedly resisted mandatory inclusionary zoning, a tribute to the notorious power of the city’s real estate industry. Meanwhile, inclusionary zoning has steadily moved from its suburban origins into the urban scene."

While inclusionary zoning won't solve all of these issues, it's a huge leap in the right direction, but it's a leap that the New York Times doesn't seem to understand.

Mallach's scathing take: "The Times, looking down from its lofty perch, then asks what it clearly sees as the tough question, 'what if builders reacted to mandatory inclusionary zoning by not building at all?' Well, if you are under the impression that inclusionary zoning is a new and untried, and perhaps slightly radical initiative—which is true if you don’t look beyond the boundaries of the five boroughs—this is a fair question."

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Published on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Rooflines
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