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New York City’s Housing Gap 2004: Bridged Chasm or Widening Divide?

Wednesday June 2004


Peter D. Salins, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, State University of New York Director, Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York

It is no secret that New York City’s housing market is among the most dysfunctional in the nation—thanks to rent control, outdated zoning ordinances, an antiquated building code and complex land use regulations that turn NIMBYism into a fine art. The result? A year-in, year-out, housing gap that denies many New York City residents, especially middle-class residents, safe, affordable housing.

However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration has been a persistent advocate for housing construction, and low-interest rates have helped to galvanize a private sector building spurt in many sections of the city. Consequently, there is reason to hope that NYC’s housing gap may be closing rather than widening.

Peter Salins will describe the scope of New York’s current housing gap and explain how market-friendly housing reforms can boost the supply of affordable housing for New York’s much-ignored, but much-needed, middleclass residents.