15 October 2009

The Affordable Housing Canard Exposed

Gothamist, summarizing a New York Times article, telling us something we've all known for years:

Mayor Bloomberg's $7.5 billion plan to build or preserve city-financed residences for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families has constructed and protected 94,000 units over the past seven years — but over the same period the city's richest man has been unable to prevent rents from skyrocketing on some 200,000 other "affordable" units.

The NY Times reports that the Mayor's efforts to help the city's poor find housing have "been nearly drowned out by the twin waves of gentrification and rent deregulation," resulting in a 17% drop in the number of units affordable to low-income New Yorkers since 2002. Community Service Society senior housing policy analyst Victor Bach said, "We're losing units even with additions to the stock under the mayor's housing plan...I'm not knocking the plan. I'm just saying it hasn't done much to stop the hemorrhaging of lower-rent units across the city."

This is why Bloomberg detractors are never swayed when the Mayor and his developer pals talk up the virtues of the affordable housing units in their new housing towers. It's all bullshit and spin. They're not helping poor and middle income people; they're huring them; they're driving them out.

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