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Is Housing Affordability actually affordable?

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:// N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

Gates, Moses. “To Prevent Worsening Inequality, Put Affluent Neighborhoods in NYC Red-Zoning List.” 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.

Affordable Housing, Assignment 4-8, ,


  1. Honestly I don’t even get what the point of this affordable housing plan is! Ironically it’s causing more gentrification because it’s displacing the lower-income families from their homes into shelters while benefiting the wealthier residents who don’t even need this redevelopment program. Plus it’s also increasing economic strains on the city itself because the poor would need more subsidies. So wouldn’t it just be easier on the city and its residents if the neighborhoods were left alone?

  2. Affordable for whom, it remains a question. Some housing activists have complained that the mayor’s administration has not done enough to create homes for the poorest New Yorkers, focusing instead on moderate-income residents. My aunt rent an apartment in Elmhurst, Queens about $700 per month before she moved into the affordable house. The apartment is near the 7 train but it was little bit noisy in that area. Now she lives in the affordable house and pays higher maintenance per month. Most of her income are used to pay the maintenance now. She thinks that there is no big difference between the affordable house with the apartment she rent. What’s more, the home she lives now is more further from her working place than the renting home. Is it a real affordable housing program for the low income family?

  3. I highly agree with the fact that “overcrowding has gone up” over the past few years, and I feel this issue continues to be seriously overlooked today. I could even apply this statement to when my mother and I used to live in Carlyle Skyline Towers on Kissena Blvd.; if I remember correctly, there would be multiple apartments that would house somewhere between five and seven Indian people, who would typically be a husband, a wife, a grandmother or aunt, and their four children. Neither the property managers nor the superintendent did anything to stop this problem from escalating, and it seemed like it was only getting worse by the time my mother and I moved out of there two years ago. In regards to affordable housing, the fact that “the City plans to develop new housing units” despite its current overcrowding problem demonstrates that de Blasio has never taken into consideration how “the gap between the number of lower cost units and families who need those units, or the service needs for residents of the neighborhood could contribute to further destabilization of the community” (ICPH 4). Therefore, I feel it is now up to the City to revitalize and redesign its affordable housing program so that it can guarantee pricing plans that work with its residents’ budgets, and so that it won’t have to depend on rezoning and redevelopment as the only solutions.

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