Monday, February 22, 2010

NYC's Affordable Housing Plan: "Build Less, Preserve More"

New York City's plan for affordable housing under Mayor Bloomberg, called the New Housing Marketplace Plan, anticipates the "creation or preservation of 165,000 affordable homes," according to Cara Buckley's February 21, 2010, article in the New York Times.  Click here for a link to Buckley's article, "City's New Plan on Affordable Housing:  Build Less, Preserve More."  "Preservation of affordable housing" under the Plan, however, is not without controversy.  It relies on rent controls, a market-bending mechanism that's sure to generate criticism from free market sectors.  NYC officials have explained that this move is necessary now more than ever, especially in light of the ongoing financial crisis, and in anticipation of the next housing boom.  During the boom years, all things being equal, property owners often convert rental units to condominiums or cooperatives in order to sell them, a decision that decreases the availability of rental stock in housing markets, along with affordable housing supply. 

Will Cook, Charleston School of Law

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