Saturday, November 2, 2019
The POLITICIANS Keep Making NYC’s HOUSING SHORTAGE WORSE
Post Editorial Board
The widening gap between the New York region’s housing stock and the number of jobs is threatening the local economy, a new report warns. Yet local pols keep pushing to make the gap even wider.
The latest: The City Council is looking to require city-subsidized builders to set aside for the homeless 15% of any units they “create or preserve.”
This is nuts: The homeless all too often have deeper problems that can make them very poor neighbors. Simply ordering buildings to take them in won’t go down well with people in surrounding apartments.
Plus, as Mayor Bill de Blasio himself notes, units for the homeless would come at the expense of low- and middle-class housing.
No matter. On Thursday, Hizzoner nonetheless said he was “confident” he’d reach a deal with Council Speaker Corey Johnson to pass some version of the bill.
This, when de Blasio’s own City Planning Department just flagged the housing crisis as an economy-killer. “The region’s housing supply has not been keeping up with job growth,” the CPD study found. Expect tougher “affordability challenges” and “headwinds to further business growth.”
Between 2009 and 2018, the report said, the city and suburbs in New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island and Westchester issued an average of 46,000 permits for new homes a year — down about a third from the average of 64,000 permits for 2001-’08.
“It’s key that we continue to produce housing at a high pace … if we are going to address regional housing affordability and support economic growth,” City Planning spokeswoman Rachaele Raynoff said.
Duh: A housing shortage drives up prices, making it harder for workers to find affordable homes and the region less attractive for businesses.
Yet pols keep moving to discourage more housing. This year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature passed “reforms” that’ll make it harder for landlords to collect enough rent to make repairs and pay their own bills.
Critics warned that the reforms would worsen the housing crisis — and sure enough, Crain’s NY reported soon after that several longtime New York developers and owners are now thinking of leaving the city.
If the politicians don’t quit the ham-handed meddling, the only folks left in the city will be those who can afford to pay through the nose for housing — and those who don’t pay.