New York City

EOst
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Re: New York City

Postby EOst » November 19th, 2014, 4:02 pm

Do you really think income segregation is a good answer for the affordability crisis?

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Anondson
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New York City

Postby Anondson » November 19th, 2014, 4:16 pm

How is "income segregation" meaningfully relevant to affordable housing?

xandrex
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Re: New York City

Postby xandrex » November 19th, 2014, 4:21 pm

In some ways, the ship has sailed, so yeah...they should be improving transit from the outer boroughs to Manhattan (and inter-borough connectivity in general). But it's a shame that pretty much nowhere in NYC is affordable unless you're willing to take a pretty substantial commute.

One of my friends out there makes about 10K more than I do for a similar (actually his is much more intensive) job. He lives in Brooklyn about 30 minutes from work by subway, shares a two bedroom apartment of decent quality, and shells out about $1500 in rent each month. Just for his portion. Meanwhile, I'm paying just over $500 to split a two bedroom place and have a 10-15 minute bus commute. Even with my car (and associated gas, insurance, and maintenance), I'm well ahead financially. Who's better off?

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Re: New York City

Postby mattaudio » November 19th, 2014, 4:27 pm

The reality of certain places, such as Downtown Mpls or Manhattan in general or Central Park-adjacent in particular, is that they are insanely valuable. And that is reflected in land values. There's just no getting around that reality. So then the question is, how do we get the most affordable housing with our limited funds? And funds, even if increased, are always limited (first rule of economics- scarcity). Thus, there's more utility to be gained by building affordable housing in less-than-the-most-desirable areas, because we can house more people affordably than we could if we were housing them in supertalls on 53rd Street in Manhattan.

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Re: New York City

Postby EOst » November 19th, 2014, 5:06 pm

Anondson wrote:How is "income segregation" meaningfully relevant to affordable housing?
Read mattaudio's post. Rich people get the desirable areas; everyone else gets the outer boroughs and long commutes.

The problem with your premise, matt, is that New York City is (for the moment, at least) seeing growth so exponential that even "the outer boroughs" are no longer affordable to any significant degree, and those parts that are won't be for long. How far out can we keep pushing the poor (and middle class)? Right now the commute from ~relatively affordable parts of Brooklyn/Queens like Bay Ridge or Howard Beach to Midtown Manhattan is already around an hour, and even those areas won't be affordable for long. How do you propose we build our way out of that, exactly?

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Re: New York City

Postby EOst » November 19th, 2014, 5:38 pm

Just in case, by the way, you aren't aware of just how high rents have risen in NYC, try finding an apartment suitable for a low- to medium-income family on Craigslist. Here's a link to a map of 2+ bedrooms for less than $1250: http://newyork.craigslist.org/search/hh ... bedrooms=2

You'll quickly find most of them to be either in the Bronx (ie. dangerous, rundown, and about to be gentrified anyway) or to actually be mislabeled single rooms. And that, by the way, is only "affordable" (30% of income) if the household makes at least 50k a year, which is 20 thousand dollars above the national median household income ($30,932).

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Nick
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Re: New York City

Postby Nick » November 19th, 2014, 5:41 pm

Is it possible that the New York real estate market is too insane to really try to draw any particularly meaningful conclusions to apply to 99.9% of other cities?

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Re: New York City

Postby VAStationDude » November 19th, 2014, 5:47 pm

Ditto for Toronto and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Vancouver.

EOst
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Re: New York City

Postby EOst » November 19th, 2014, 5:54 pm

Nick wrote:Is it possible that the New York real estate market is too insane to really try to draw any particularly meaningful conclusions to apply to 99.9% of other cities?
Well, this is a thread about NYC. ;)

But even so; perhaps, but it isn't just NYC. Boston, DC, SF, LA, Seattle, Portland, even Chicago (well, the white parts) are seeing their markets exploding as well. How can you tell if this is a unique circumstance for these hyper-desirable cities, or just the tip of the iceberg coming down the pike for more cities? The case of Portland at least would tend to suggest it might be the latter. Among large cities Minneapolis right now is the exception much more than NYC is.

And even if does end up being only those cities, it doesn't stop being an issue that needs addressing.

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Re: New York City

Postby FISHMANPET » November 19th, 2014, 5:59 pm

NYC just needs to build more housing. Building a supertall just doesn't make sense anywhere because it's needlessly expensive, at a certain point you're just showing off, not providing housing at a marginal price. So sure tax the hell out of these giant empty buildings and used it to fund affordable housing all over. But preventing them from being built isn't going to magically make housing affordable, it just means the billionaire is going to buy something slightly less nice and now the millionare is priced out of that property so they buy something a little less nice and eventually it trickles down to the bottom (and yes I'm disgusted I just said trickle down) where that person at the bottom is just priced out.

Like Matt says, you can't just regulate demand away, if the uber rich want something they'll get it, and maybe the best we can do is make sure to skim off the top of that transaction as much as possible and generally make sure it doesn't prevent something else from happening.

I mean, short of full communism I'm just not sure there's anything you can actually do to keep the rich from getting what they want.

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Re: New York City

Postby EOst » November 19th, 2014, 6:03 pm

But the whole problem is that the rich have so much money that the potential for parking wealth in these properties is effectively limitless, and growing by the day. Meanwhile, each new project feeds the gentrification pump; it raises prices for the area, in turn driving high-but-not-high-enough residents to the next-most desirable neighborhood, creating a cascade. And then the process starts again in the next neighborhood.

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Re: New York City

Postby Elliot Altbaum » November 19th, 2014, 6:46 pm

FISHMANPET wrote: I mean, short of full communism I'm just not sure there's anything you can actually do to keep the rich from getting what they want.

This last point seems a little hyperbolic. Rich people wanted to run companies where they could dump pollutants into the water and air. As a society, we decided rich people and their companies couldn't do that any more. We ain't red yet.

Society, through politics, can decide the rules that we all live with. Short of communism, there is still a lot of rules that can be set.

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Re: New York City

Postby Elliot Altbaum » November 19th, 2014, 6:57 pm

mattaudio wrote:The reality of certain places, such as Downtown Mpls or Manhattan in general or Central Park-adjacent in particular, is that they are insanely valuable.
Valuable to whom? People of all income brackets might value highly living next to Central Park. It is only rich people, through their money in the free market, who get their demands met. Millions of teachers, construction workers, and health care workers are also demanding housing in places they want to live, only their can't because they don't have the money.
Personally, I find it extremely valuable to live in a society that supports places with mixed incomes. Policywise, there is research showing that mixed income areas have high social mobility and greater equity. Local example would be Orfield's work on public schools.

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Anondson
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Re: New York City

Postby Anondson » November 19th, 2014, 7:31 pm

Elliot Altbaum wrote:Valuable to whom? People of all income brackets might value highly living next to Central Park. It is only rich people, through their money in the free market, who get their demands met. Millions of teachers, construction workers, and health care workers are also demanding housing in places they want to live, only their can't because they don't have the money.
There isn't an infinite supply of rich people. Build more housing where rich people want to live of the quality they desire and you should have a supply of housing for the non-wealthy who wish to be there too.

If you keep an artificial cap on housing supply (like often is done with suburban zoning of single family exclusive neighborhoods) then we need to twist ourselves into knots, with bewildering and corruptible bureaucracies to administer who gets distribute access to live there.

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Re: New York City

Postby Elliot Altbaum » November 19th, 2014, 7:54 pm

Anondson wrote:There isn't an infinite supply of rich people.


True, but there isn't an infinite amount of land either. Nonetheless, point taken.
Anondson wrote:Build more housing where rich people want to live of the quality they desire and you should have a supply of housing for the non-wealthy who wish to be there too.
That would be nice, but that process doesn't seem to bear out very often.
Anondson wrote: If you keep an artificial cap on housing supply (like often is done with suburban zoning of single family exclusive neighborhoods) then we need to twist ourselves into knots, with bewildering and corruptible bureaucracies to administer who gets distribute access to live there.
Why do you assume that government is more corruptible than real estate moguls like Zigi Wilf? The track record of rich corporations run by rich people is not very benevolent. I trust these companies and their motives much less than government. I guess that puts me in the minority in this country at the moment.

I am also not necessarily saying put a cap on housing, just that there should be an equitable distribution of it. Want to build next to central park? 30% affordable/ semi-affordable units.

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Re: New York City

Postby EOst » November 19th, 2014, 7:59 pm

Anondson wrote:There isn't an infinite supply of rich people. Build more housing where rich people want to live of the quality they desire and you should have a supply of housing for the non-wealthy who wish to be there too.

If you keep an artificial cap on housing supply (like often is done with suburban zoning of single family exclusive neighborhoods) then we need to twist ourselves into knots, with bewildering and corruptible bureaucracies to administer who gets distribute access to live there.
You're making a category mistake. This isn't just housing, it's a safe place to store currency. Someone can have twenty of these and not live in any of them.

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Nick
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Re: New York City

Postby Nick » November 19th, 2014, 8:41 pm

EOst wrote:
Nick wrote:Is it possible that the New York real estate market is too insane to really try to draw any particularly meaningful conclusions to apply to 99.9% of other cities?
Well, this is a thread about NYC. ;)

But even so; perhaps, but it isn't just NYC. Boston, DC, SF, LA, Seattle, Portland, even Chicago (well, the white parts) are seeing their markets exploding as well. How can you tell if this is a unique circumstance for these hyper-desirable cities, or just the tip of the iceberg coming down the pike for more cities? The case of Portland at least would tend to suggest it might be the latter. Among large cities Minneapolis right now is the exception much more than NYC is.

And even if does end up being only those cities, it doesn't stop being an issue that needs addressing.
Fewer sheikhs in Portland! Anyway, just a thought.

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Re: New York City

Postby mattaudio » November 19th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Are rich people and the government two different things? Government is one channel among many for the oligarchy to run the show.

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Re: New York City

Postby Elliot Altbaum » November 19th, 2014, 10:00 pm

Yes they are different things. Are oligarchs more and more deciding the outcome of our government? Absolutely. Do they effectively get to make the decisions about policy. Yes. Is that fundamental to the nature of government? Absolutely not. Can government work in the interests of the people? Yes, if enormous amounts of people power are used.

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Re: New York City

Postby Anondson » November 19th, 2014, 10:03 pm

Elliot Altbaum wrote:Why do you assume that government is more corruptible than real estate moguls like Zigi Wilf? The track record of rich corporations run by rich people is not very benevolent. I trust these companies and their motives much less than government. I guess that puts me in the minority in this country at the moment.
I distrust both equally but I am more wary of government, it has the power to take your property and has access to violently assert its will upon the population legally. That's all personal philosophy though, my comment about corruptible bureaucracies was broadly inclusive. HOAs, NGOs, neighborhood associations, trade organizations, ... ;)
Elliot Altbaum wrote:I am also not necessarily saying put a cap on housing, just that there should be an equitable distribution of it. Want to build next to central park? 30% affordable/ semi-affordable units.
Yeaaaaahhh, I'm suspicious of it working out, I'd like to it tried in NYC somewhere, but I have a hunch it will solve things as well as rent control is there.


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