September 21, 2015
Real Affordability for All has released a report, Real Affordable Communities: Mayor Bill De Blasio and the Future of New York City. The report opens,
Across the five boroughs, the affordability crisis is growing every day. Today, low- and moderate-income New Yorkers continue to be priced out of their neighborhoods. The incomes of countless New Yorkers are not increasing while rents keep rising. The growing gap between lower incomes and higher rents is making New York City increasingly unaffordable.
Indeed, a recent study released by StreetEasy, The High Burden of Low Wages: How Renting Affordably in NYC is Impossible on Minimum Wage, found that a New Yorker earning $15 an hour could afford just one neighborhood: Throgs Neck in the Bronx.
“The extent to which rent growth has outpaced income growth in New York City means low-wage workers face three options: find several roommates to lower their personal rent burden, take on more than one job, or move out of New York City,” the study finds.
According to a close analysis of the most recent Census data, Bloomberg’s housing efforts generated a shortage of more than 400,000 affordable units for low-income New Yorkers. Low-income here is defined as a household earning less than 50% of Area Median Income (AMI). For a household of four, that means an approximate annual income of less than $42,000. (In 2012 New York City area median income was $83,600 for a family of four; the 2015 New York City area median income for a family of four is $86,300).
Overall, utilizing the 2012 census data, more than 700,000 low-income New Yorkers were left behind by Bloomberg’s housing plan. To tackle the affordability crisis, Mayor de Blasio has proposed preserving or creating 200,000 units of affordable housing. He wants to achieve that goal through mandatory inclusionary zoning and dense new residential development in various neighborhoods.
To succeed, de Blasio will need to avoid repeating the mistakes of Bloomberg’s housing agenda, and ensure that real affordable housing is created for the huge number of low-income New Yorkers who were not served by the previous administration and still struggle to survive. (1-2)
The Real Affordability for All advocates that “Low-income neighborhoods like East New York and the South Bronx will be empowered to offer a ‘density bonus’ to developers in exchange for real affordable housing below 50 % of AMI and for career-oriented union construction jobs for local residents at new development sites.” (7)
The report provides an example pro forma for one building to demonstrate that this plan is do-able. The report does not, however, indicate where the De Blasio Administration would find the $15 million in additional subsidies it would take for this one building to be built according to the Real Affordability for All guidelines.
At this point, the plan is more of a wish list than a serious proposal, but it does make clear that there is a deep need for deep housing subsidies among low- and moderate-income households.
- NY bankruptcy judge dismissed suit against DLA Piper for misappropriation of over $36 million in payments to cover mortgage-backed securities. The judge cited NY law that “prevents wrongdoers and their successors from pursuing claims that arise out of their own misconduct.”
- NY federal judge denied “Act of God” defense made by National Electronic Transit Corporation for damage caused to machines stored in warehouse during Hurricane Sandy, instead finding that the company was under-prepared for the storm.
- RBS Securities has settled to pay $129.6 million for claims made by the National Credit Union Administration for the sale of mortgage-backed securities, which may have led to the failure of two credit unions.
- NY federal court denied Citibank’s bid to relate FDIC’s suit over failure as trustee for mortgage-backed securities to a suit accusing the bank of mishandling mortgage-backed securities in pooled loans.
- Corelogic’s Second Quarter U.S. Equity Report indicated that over three-quarters-of -a-million properties regained equity, while 4.4 million remain in negative equity over the same period. Aggregate negative equity fell $28 billion from $338 billion to $309 billion. According to Corelogic this reduction is caused both by foreclosure completions and home price appreciation.
- According to a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) new home construction is trailing job growth in major metro areas. NAR sees this as the primary reason for the affordability crisis now gripping the nation in many of the same areas.
- The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) against certain real estate agencies and individual realtors who are alleged to have treated black and latino buyers in Jackson Mississippi in drastically different ways than they treated equally qualified white buyers. According to the NFHA complaint white buyers were shown a wider variety of homes while black and latino purchasers were largely steer into majority minority neighborhoods.
- The NHFA, in a related vein, also released a study entitled Where You Live Matters – 2015 Fair Housing Trends Report which draws a stark parallel between the historic lack of investment in communities of color and the racial disparities in educational, social, and economic outcomes that have resulted.
- NYU’s Furman Center has released a Brief entitled Black and Latino Segregation and Socioeconomic Outcomes which finds that the burgeoning Latino population in the U.S. is largely “inheriting the segregated urban structures experienced by African Americans.” This segregation seems to lead to reduced socioeconomic prospects when compared with whites, including lower earnings, more violent crime, less access to credit and lower homeownership rates.