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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Where the Candidates Stand on Housing

We're probably going down the tubes no matter what, but here's where the candidates stand on housing.  So far, no free IPads for every household.  Much more at this link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/14/ignore-anthony-weiner-heres-what-matters-in-the-nyc-mayors-race/

De Blasio was limited to stuff like shaming bad landlords in his capacity as public advocate, but he has a quite detailed housing plan for his mayoral campaign, which is broadly similar to a plan his public advocate’s office released. He is a supporter of rent control. “As mayor, he will fight to retake control of rent rules from Albany, so we can make our own decisions again,” he writes in the plan. “Bill de Blasio will also support tenants fighting to maintain the affordability of their homes through organizing efforts in complexes like Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Independence Plaza, and Riverton.” He wants to freeze rents at all rent stabilized apartments

Besides that, his strategy relies heavily on “inclusive zoning,” a practice wherein developers are obliged to set aside a portion of housing to low-income families, to be sold at below-market rates; it basically functions as a tax on housing development with proceeds directed to low-income households. De Blasio wants to rely on that and his other proposals to create or preserve 200,000 affordable units. Inclusionary zoning is a good way to help families stay put in the face of gentrification, if that’s a priority the city wants to have, but the policy has many of the downsides that price ceilings usually have. Plus inclusionary zoning only works if low-income residents can get mortgages. As Lydia has explained, that often isn’t the case, at least for condos.

De Blasio also wants to apply the same tax to big vacant lots as to commercial properties, which reflects a pretty longstanding preference economists have for land taxes rather than property taxes. He has a long record of supporting increased density, including backing the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, supporting “granny flats”, and easier transference of development rights within neighborhoods. He supports making Section 8 vouchers available to homeless families, a move Bloomberg has opposed as unfeasible.

Quinn is, if anything, even fonder of inclusionary zoning than de Blasio. She wants to create 40,000 middle-class housing units over 10 years, create or preserve 80,000 units, freeze rents at all rent-stabilized apartments, convert many more market-rate apartments to below-market rate, and make units “permanently affordable.” “Currently the affordability requirements for most subsidized apartments expire after 20 or 30 years, which means residents may be priced out of their homes and the middle class gets priced out of entire neighborhoods,” her Web site explains. “Chris will work with her colleagues in Albany to pass a Permanent Affordability Act giving us a new financing tool that will allow us to keep units affordable indefinitely.”

Again, that’s a really good policy for those who can get the apartments in question, and is an effective way to fight gentrification, but it drives up other costs and prevents new people from moving to New York. “That’s great for people who win affordable housing lotteries and get below-market rate rents,” as Josh Barro says. “But the set-asides also reduce the returns to developers, which reduces the amount of housing stock that gets built, which drives up market rents for everybody else.” That’s what seems to have happened under Boston’s inclusionary zoning law.

Thompson sees Quinn’s 80,000 affordable housing units created or preserved and raises her another 40,000, which still puts him under de Blasio’s 200,000-unit pledge. He wants to use available federal and state subsidies to fund 50,000, get another 50,000 by organizing new loan agreements with existing landlords, and get the final 20,000 by using vacant properties controlled by the government. Like de Blasio, he wants to return control of rent restrictions to the city. He wants to “preserve rent-stabilized, rent-controlled, and Mitchell-Lama housing,” the latter being a kind of housing subsidy in New York State. When he was the Democratic nominee in 2009, he bashed Bloomberg for not taking rent control seriously enough, saying, “Mike Bloomberg’s rent-stabilization board, his guidelines board, that continues to increase rents, isn’t there for tenants — they’re there for the landlords.”

Lhota has endorsed a plan by the group Housing First that cost $8 billion total, including $356 million in additional annual spending by the city to create or preserve 150,000 affordable housing units; 60,000 of those would be new units and 136,250 of the 150,000 would be for low-income families. That plan would involve expanded inclusionary zoning — as called for by the other candidates — along with Section 8 funding for the homeless, reduced parking requirements, and a bonus for denser building. It’s a bit different in the latter two respects than the Democratic candidates’ proposal, but it’s broadly similar. Lhota has also mused about using post office buildings as affordable housing as demand for snail mail services flags.

Catsimatidis has, like Lhota, endorsed the Housing First plan.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to list Weiner who in addition to being a sick pervert voted in favor of vacancy decontrol when he was a city councilman after agreeing to vote against it. That vote was one of the catalysts for the loss of many rent stabilized apartments.And further, "Little Anthony" lies about his vote since he claims he voted to end rent stabilization for the wealthy. Vacancy decontrol affects every apartment that is vacated, regardless of the income of the prior tenant and Weiner is fully aware of that fact.
So Weiner is a pervert, anti-tenant and a liar (both about his sexting and his vote for vacancy decontrol). And yet he still gets 10% of the vote in the latest poll.Says something about a not insignificant part of the NYC electorate.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't trust Quinn, as she is a
Proven liar and dirtbag. Wouldn't trust Lhota either because he's an opportunist. I will go for DiBlasi. Spitzer for comptroller!

Roger That said...

Bloomberg can at least be credited with this -- his relentless drive to turn NY into Luxury City finally created a huge backlash.

Which raises a question. It would seem that a third Bloomberg term would have been the smart time for CWCrapital to make a move with regards to ST-PCV. Not the beginning of a new mayor's administration (dedicated to preserving and expanding middle class housing in the city). Is this a case of whoops, poor planning? Hubris? It doesn't matter?

Also, August 14, 2013 at 8:46 PM. Weiner is no longer a viable candidate and so not worth wasting valuable pixels on.

Anonymous said...

There's no mention of Weiner, nor is one necessary, simply because he is not discussed in the article that the STR excerpted. For that matter, neither is John Liu nor ANY OTHER candidates' positions. As he stated in his opening, the STR featured only the excerpt dealing with their positions on housing. It's a wonderful article and I wholeheartedly recommend reading the entire piece, as soon as you've a chance to.

Anonymous said...

I must say, STR, you really do a lot of work for us. You are great! Thank you so much for all you do.
Please don't think that it is not appreciated.

Anonymous said...

All terrible plans that cater to either the poor, or those already benefiting from rent control policies whose productive economic days are coming to an end.

NYC needs to create affordable housing for young middle class professionals and families in order to encourage them to stay here for more then a couple of years. That's who drives the economy and keeps the budget in the black.

This will never happen of course because young professional market raters are not politically active or organized. In fact many probably won't even vote in the next election, I know I'm not. All of these candidates are just pandering to entrenched interests.

Anonymous said...

Quinn has been a stand-in for Bloomberg when it comes to housing. She can't turn around now and say otherwise without paying the price. So no vote for her and no vote for Weiner...my god, what is that man doing? He's through in politics. Apparently he's the only one who doesn't know it.

Anonymous said...

WARNING:
To all tenants of 10 stuyvesant Oval> Our trunk room has been emptied of all trunks?
No warning from management!
Anyone knows where they are...?

Anonymous said...

"All terrible plans that cater to either the poor, or those already benefiting from rent control policies whose productive economic days are coming to an end. "

I know, those Dastardly Poor and rent-regulated tenants! A pox on them all. Aren't they the ones who crashed the stock market and put all those people out of work? Damn them and their crooked banking practices. Let's round up the poor and rent-regulated people and ship them to Siberia.

Anonymous said...

"All terrible plans that cater to either the poor, or those already benefiting from rent control policies whose productive economic days are coming to an end. "

Did your parents raise you to be such a jerkoff, or have you worked hard to become one ?

Anonymous said...

And in the end, none of them will actually do anything.

Anonymous said...

@2:28 PM, So you have no trouble saying what you think "NYC needs to" do, yet you have no intention of making your desires or thoughts known cuz you & other young professionals won't be voting. Way to contribute to society!

How dare you? So, the candidates should all intuit that you need an affordable Manhattan crash pad to drink, dine, and party in just before you bail for the suburbs. Sorry, sounds like you're just passing through.

Affordable housing is for people to be able to put down roots, not a pop concept used, instead, to put down other people-- pompous, self-entitled brat that your parents raised. Guess you've never heard the phrase "the squeaky wheel gets the grease?" When you are of voting age (ie "an adult"), that is one way it is done. Unlike Mommy & Daddy, the Mayor (or Governor, President, etc.) don't just give you what you want. Gotta agree with @4:24's assessment of your character!

Anonymous said...

WARNING:
To all tenants of 10 stuyvesant Oval> Our trunk room has been emptied of all trunks?
No warning from management!
Anyone knows where they are...?


According to someone on the TA's Facebook page, they were transferred to the trunk room in 14 Stuyvesant Oval. Once again, Management shows their ARROGANCE and CONTEMPT for tenants and their property.

Also, according to John Marsh on the TA's Facebook page, more thefts of property from tenants' apartments has been reported to the TA. What the f--- are the NYC POLICE doing about our THIEVING MANAGEMENT COMPANY who is hiring THIEVES to paint tenants'apartments and giving THIEVES doing other work access to tenants'apartments???!!!

Anonymous said...

"NYC needs to create affordable housing for young middle class professionals and families in order to encourage them to stay here for more then a couple of years."

There is such a program in place. It's called Rent Stabilization. As long as a young family can afford the monthly rent, they could put down roots, knowing that lease renewals were guaranteed and the increases were not ridiculously prohibitive.

Anonymous said...

"How dare you? So, the candidates should all intuit that you need an affordable Manhattan crash pad to drink, dine, and party in just before you bail for the suburbs."

That's exactly my point - The reason these young New Yorkers who you all hate so much don't stick around is because it's too expensive. There is no real middle class housing options anywhere within an hours commute to midtown. $ 1MM for a 2 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn or Queens?

These plans will continue this bifurcated city with poor people in affordable housing, and rich people in luxury condos. The only middle class left will be un-rooted childless 20 and 30 somethings packed into subdivided apartments.

We're identifying the same problem, but you aren't able to see how the failed solutions of the past actually exacerbated it.

Anonymous said...

"We're identifying the same problem, but you aren't able to see how the failed solutions of the past actually exacerbated it."

We see it, but just don't agree with your assessment.

On the supply side, you have real estate interests that grease pols palms for prohibitive zoning laws that choke off supply, thus keeping their property values sky-high and vacancy rates hovering at 1%, so they have you over the proverbial barrel. Where else but in NYC could a broker get a 15% commission on a one-year rental?

Rent regulation, aka the Emergency Tenant Protection Act was a response to that. In a city where over 60% of us are renters, voters pressed lawmakers to institute this form of consumer protection, housing being a vital need.

Where we went wrong was when our Republican friends in Albany pushed through vacancy decontrol in the 90s. Before that, regulated apartments changed hands frequently, it was quite common to move from one RS apartment to another. With a little effort, a new arrival could find something relatively (by NY standards, anyway) affordable.

That's what's resulted in the dichotomy we have today. Long term tenants can't move, the pool of moderately priced rentals essentially evaporated with decontrol, and developers are catering to the high-end market, since they can only build so much. If you were a baker, and by law could only bake 100 cakes a year, are you going to make $10 cakes or $1000 cakes?

Anonymous said...

@6:30PM, Way to completely miss the exact point of the comment. You need to COMMUNICATE and PARTICIPATE and (yes) even VOTE in order to make your needs and desires known. Unless you are so clueless that you really weren't kidding about not understanding what the word "intuit" meant.

As for the candidates, whom you've made ir clear you and your pals won't be voting for (cuz you're not voting at all), perhaps- had you actually READ what the STR posted here, you'd have seen that there are several thoughtful, viable affordable housing proposals. Some are long term, some more immediate remedies. All are aimed at vastly increasing this desperately needed commodity. You, on the other hand, by refusing to participate in the electoral process, are getting exactly what you deserve... no right to speak your mind. You actually HAVE that in the voting booth. Too bad about that, huh? Mommy & Daddy can't just "make it so." Alas.

Roger That said...

"We're identifying the same problem, but you aren't able to see how the failed solutions of the past actually exacerbated it."

Written by someone with little or no knowledge of NYC rent regulation or its history.

Rent regulation worked pretty well until vacancy decontrol (NOTE: Vacancy decontrol keeps rent regs and tenant protections for occupied apartments, but removes them once the tenant moves out). Tenant advocates bitterly opposed vacancy decontrol, but it was forced down our throats by State Senate Republicans and signed into law by Gov Pataki in 1997.

It has been a disaster for tenants and a goldmine for landlords. Instead of taking potshots at rent regulation consider some history.

Back in the 1970s, Gov Rockefeller and a GOP controlled Assembly and State Senate in the 1970 also passed vacancy decontrol. It was such a failure that three years later, the same Gov and legislature repealed it and passing the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 which held up pretty well until 1997 when vacancy decontrol was added. The reason they repealed it back then was (a) NYC renters went batshit, and (b) a Rockefeller-appointed commission recommended it, finding that vacancy decontrol "has neither stimulated new building construction, stopped abandonment, spurred renovation nor has it brought substantial new money into the City’s housing stock. It has led to tenant insecurity over tenure and harassment."

The difference between then and now is real estate's increased political clout and an apparent lack of interest (or outright antipathy to rent regulation) by renters like you.

BTW. DeBlasio and Thompson support repealing the legislation granting Albany the upper hand over regulation of NYC's rental housing (also passed by Rockefeller and the GOP in the 1970s. It's called the Urstadt Law). Repeal would have dramatic results, and probably immediately. Landlords have gotten their way by contributing to upstate Republicans to thwart the will of NYC renters. NYC voters can't vote those upstate GOP state senators out of office. NYC renters could vote out a mayor and city council members for being in landlords' pockets.