Is Housing Affordability actually Affordable?
New York City is plagued by wide spread poverty and economic inequality. The most prevalent form of economic stratification is manifested through public housing. Mayor De Blasio is proposing a housing affordability plan, but evidence shows that its effects will be to the contrary. In east NY between 2004-2014 approximately 5000 entered homeless shelter system, more than any other part of the city. As affordable housing has declined over the years, overcrowding has gone up. An apartment that can only house 3 will house double with friends and cousins sleeping on the floor in order to afford the rent. In 2005 the statistic for overcrowding was 1% and by 2013 it jumped to 5%. Other statistics show that 11% of kids going to public school in East NY are living in homeless shelter and 46% live in overcrowded homes. De Blasio affordable housing plan calls for East NY to be rezoned an re-developed. For people earning 30% of AMI or less, though, (which is approximately 36% of the population) only 10% of the new housing units will be affordable for them. In turn many more children and families are at risk for homelessness.
Moses Gates argues that De Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusion Zoning Policy will furthering the stratification between the rich and poor because it only caters to low income areas. The policy is intended to increase density of housing in order to give developers more profit, assisting low-income families to find homes, and re-establish housing affordability. But the key is where this is done. If you increase the density in a low-opportunity neighborhood there will be no integration because the middle-wealthy class are seeking high opportunity living (close to transportation, good schools, low crime etc). So in essence, the policy is actually counter-productive because instead of making more affordable homes in affluent areas it will be making more expensive homes in very poor areas to the point where almost 100% of the residents will be unable to afford it.
To further prove just what a scam De Blasio’s plan is, it has been proven that one can win the lottery and still stay in the same house the originally got subsidized for low income. De Blasio’s plan only tests your income at the start; it doesn’t actually follow up with you. Technically in Mitchell Lama developments tenants must be asked to leave if their income exceeds 125% of the limit for eligibility, but often times landlords just adjust the surcharge from 5 to 50% to keep the good tenant in the building.
In short, De Blasio’s plan for housing affordability will not be making things affordable at all; in fact it may even make housing less affordable.
“What Happens to Homeless Families in Re-developed East NY.” Http://www.icphusa.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.
Gates, Moses. “To Prevent Worsening Inequality, Put Affluent Neighborhoods in NYC Red-Zoning List.” Metropolitques.eu. N.p., 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.
“The Real ‘affordable Housing’ Scam.” The New York Post. N.p., 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.