Warehousing Housing

The Story

Mayor de Blasio has signed legislation, pushed for years by homeless advocates, requiring the city to conduct vacancy surveys of buildings. These surveys, the advocates argue, will reveal an untapped supply of available housing being kept off the market for speculative purposes. The real motive behind this legislation, though, is to interfere with how private owners of real estate plan to use their property, and even penalize them for not renting it out quickly enough.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Boom: New York City’s greatest housing-construction boom took place free of government intervention. Read more.

  2. Freeze: “Permanent affordability” regulations create significant disincentives to vacate apartments. Read more.

  3. Marked: Landmarking of buildings, blocks, and even entire neighborhoods has constrained construction, and made it impossible to build new housing in many upscale neighborhoods. Read more.

“Many owners, including the city, may be in the process of planning for the development on the vacant site and these predevelopment activities can take quite some time before construction can begin and is apparent on the site.”

Daniel Hernandez, NYC Dept of Housing Preservation and Development

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

The Frozen City By Howard Husock (Special Issue 2013)

“Misguided policies keep some New Yorkers in subsidized apartments and raise costs for everyone else.”

And in other news...

“Undercover investigators posing as jail guards smuggled marijuana, blades and a narcotic painkiller into lockups in Brooklyn and Manhattan by exploiting the same deficiencies identified in a 2014 audit, the New York City Department of Investigation said Thursday.”