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Re: Please End Rent Regulation

Posted by MikeW on April 16, 1997 at 14:16:40:

In Reply to: Re: Please End Rent Regulation posted by TenantNet on April 16, 1997 at 13:50:35:

: : I'm not talking about renovating existing apartments, I'm talking about
: creating new apartments ( and not just carving a two bedroom into a one
: bedroom and a studio ). To add a significant number of apartments to the
: market, you need to find a piece of land and build a building with lots of
: units. Since there is very little open land available, especially in
: good residential areas, that means tearing something down.

: Those are issues of zoning and geography, and also willingness to build.
: Even in non-regulated situations (where they can empty buildings), no
: one builds except luxury units. It's not an issue of regulation.

The reason that all the new private construction (at least in Manhattan south of 96th st) has been luxury is because there has been so little of it, and that because of the scarcity of building sites, land prices are sky high. There are, in fact relatively few people who can afford 'luxury' apartments. However, there are even fewer apartments been built. If we can get construction to the point were the developers build through the luxury demand ( where the returns are highest ) and open up some building sites (to drive down their cost) then middle and lower income units will get built. This isn't even talking about the rest of Manhattan and the boroughs

: : Another benefit to this is that under the current real estate tax
: structure, 20% of the apartments in new rental buildings would be
: reserved for low income tenents. So you'll end up with more affordable
: housing in one large new building then in several little tenements
: (whose rents currently may or may not be affordable)

: That comes into play with j-51, 421-a or inclusionary housing programs,
: but it's optional. The reality is that in inclusionary programs, they usually
: put the 20% low-income units over in Brooklyn, not in Manhattan (there's no
: requirement they be in the same building or nearby). So Brooklyn becomes the
: poor borough and Manhattan the playground for the wealthy. Rent laws also
: have the intention of stabilizing neighborhoods. Even so, the inclusionary
: housing options aren't used that often.

The reality is that the abatement programs make sense for the developers so they get used on most large developments. Concerning distribution, I have at least two large 80/20 buildings in my neighborhood (Normandy Court and The Stratford) that have their affordable units on site.

: Even with significant incentives, developers will not add substantial number of
: moderate-income units to the market.

Then how do you explain Stuyvescent Town? This was (and still is) a private development of Metropolitan Life. They saw a need for moderate income housing, which they could build and operate at a profit. Would they have made this investment if they knew they were going to get hit with rent control immediately after it was built?

: No one claims rent regs is a complete
: housing policy (it's not) nor will it solve all the housing issues in NYC
: (it does not). To measure rent regs against expectations never intended
: is wrong.

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