AFFORDABLE HOUSING: IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE POOR ANYMORE

Apartment 23D and apartment 24D are two identical units in Hunters Point South, New York City’s largest affordable housing project in over thirty years.  Both contain 1100 square feet, have two bedrooms, all new modern appliances, exquisite views, and access to luxury amenities such.  The only difference between the two apartments  is their monthly rents: 23D’s is $4,200 and 24D’s is $2,800.

Now let’s look at several hypothetical tenants for these apartments: Continue reading

THE CRUSHING OF THE UPPER MIDDLE CLASS

Hunters Point South is thirty acres of prime waterfront property directly across the East River from Manhattan in Queens, New York.  Until a year ago, it arguably could have been considered the most valuable piece of land in America1.  In addition to unparallelled views of all five boroughs, especially the iconic Manhattan skyline, it provides easier access to Midtown(New York’s largest central business district, the busiest single commercial district in the United States, and among the most intensely used pieces of real estate in the world)2 than most places within Manhattan, whether by car or subway.  When combined with the ability to create new construction containing all the features desired by Chinese tycoons, Russian oligarchs, private equity titans, and others of that uber-wealthy ilk; this extraordinary once in a lifetime property could demand top dollar.  Instead, it is owned by the City of New York, which has decided to use this choice parcel to develop something they have  termed “affordable housing.”

‘Hmm,’ you’re thinking, ‘that seems to be a very benevolent thing to do, maybe the politicians finally got it right?’  They did not.  They completely missed, or intentionally utilized, the sleight of hand that takes from one middle class strata and gives to another. Continue reading

  1. Here’s the math and thesis: http://bit.ly/1dilVay []
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midtown_Manhattan []