One Barrier To Affordable Housing
ou hear a lot of untruths about unaffordable housing in New York. Developers say NYC housing is unaffordable because they don’t get to do whatever they want. Despite some of the most liberal zoning in the country, tax breaks (instead of infrastructure assessments) for new buildings, and massive upzonings near transit stops in the last administration. Those who run public housing programs say the problem is not enough government spending on housing and not enough government regulation. Even though New York CIty has spent more than anyplace in the U.S on housing, to the detriment of other things, and is one of the few places in the country with rent regulations.
Another thing that’s been said from time to time is housing is unaffordable because New York CIty does not allow wood frame apartment buildings in the “fire district,” which includes every borough except Staten Island. Unlike places with cheaper housing, such as Houston. Next time developers bring up Houston, remember this “luxury apartment” fire. I seem to have a different idea than would be Houston renters as to what constitutes “luxury.”