Date: June 2015
Originally Published: The Observer
New York City is facing an unprecedented crisis of affordability. Skyrocketing costs of living citywide threaten to price working families out of their longtime homes and communities. At the same time, thousands of affordable housing units, created as a safeguard against demanding market forces, lapse out of rent regulation laws. New development gleams in almost every corner of our city, promising housing for a fortunate few; meanwhile, nearly 60,000 men, women and children rely on our homeless shelters every night. Another 3,000 face the elements on the street.
New York City’s one million rent regulated units are home to 2.5 million low to moderate income New Yorkers. However, loopholes in rent regulation have led to the loss of 35,000 apartments out of rent stabilization status since 2011. While the City has committed to building 80,000 affordable units in the coming decade, at least 110,000 families stand to lose their rent-regulated apartments over the same period.
New construction alone will not solve our housing crisis. Strengthening rent regulation boldly and decisively is integral to maintaining affordability and diversity within our neighborhoods.