Addressing New York City's Affordable Housing Crisis
5 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2017 Last revised: 22 Sep 2017
Date Written: June 28, 2017
The Rent Guidelines Board determines rent increases for New York City’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments. It must weigh the economic conditions of the residential real estate industry; current and projected cost of living; and other data made available to it. To make its decision, it reviews reams of data and multiple analyses of those data. It also held five public hearings at which it heard hundreds of tenants speak, sing, chant, cry, and demonstrate. These hearings are among the only opportunities that tenants have to speak publicly about their housing situations, and they made clear the extremity of the housing crisis in the City, and that it will get worse without significant intervention.
New York City cannot expect any meaningful housing assistance from the federal government in the near term. Our observations therefore focus on state and municipal actions that could address some of the issues that regularly cropped up at the hearings: 1. There is a desperate need for affordable housing that is pegged to residents’ incomes; 2. State laws governing rent stabilization must be amended; and 3. New York City needs a repair program for broken gas lines.
Keywords: rent regulation, rent stabilization, rent control, housing, affordable housing, low-income, gentrification, housing crisis
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