Both De Blasio and Lhota are running on a promise to “build more affordable housing” which means building more housing projects by plowing more money into the corrupt New York City Housing Authority, which is about out of money, and into associated slumlords who manage housing projects.
Then Bloomberg decided to announce that the lack of affordable housing is a good thing because it means there’s full occupancy. Or something like that. In a way he’s right, but also wrong.
New York City does indeed have an affordable housing problem.
The housing problem however is that there is no middle class housing. There are only 2,000 dollar per square foot apartments for the rich and “affordable housing” for the welfare class poor.
The problem is caused by that dynamic in which a maze of government regulations make building new housing very difficult. Between the various rent control regs and community boards and allocation grants, building housing is tricky. And considering property values, it becomes easier to build for the rich. The amount of land taken off the market for housing projects makes the remaining land that much more expensive.
Much of New York’s middle class housing was built until the 70s. Since then the boom has mainly added more poor and rich housing. And both conspire to lock the middle class out.
A housing project automatically trashes property values. No one wants to live near drug markets and muggings and all the rest. The area becomes a lost cause fit only for more housing projects.
And if you invest in a 500k condo, then you make sure to protect your property values by making the area too expensive for anyone else to live in. It’s not quite racism, but of course it is, and practiced by liberal anti-racists.
There are also pragmatic reasons. Evicting tenants is very difficult. If you’re going to build, it makes more sense to aim at the class of people who won’t announce that they refuse to pay rent and then use pro bono housing lawyers to drag out evicting proceedings for a year or two.
So New York City, like so many other places inhabited by liberals, is broken down into a sharp class divide with no room for the middle class.
And that may be the future of America.