[File photo via Bobby Williams]
The Times will have a piece in the magazine on Sunday on rent regulations... a version is now online titled "The Perverse Effects of Rent Regulation."
The East Village plays a starring role as writer Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR's Planet Money, presents some what ifs about the elimination of rent regulations and other forms of housing subsidies. He goes over the two rental markets in the city: "Roughly half the apartments are under rent regulation, public housing or some other government program. That leaves everyone else to compete for the half with rents determined by the market."
One East Village realtor estimated that there are between 20-30 available apartments for rent in a given month.
He goes on to point out how "an East Village where nobody makes less than $90,000 a year might actually damage the city's long-term prospects" ... because the neighborhood has always "served as an initial toehold into this chaotic mess" of Manhattan.
Christopher Mayer, a housing economist at Columbia Business School, contends that these programs actually make the city much less affordable ... he lays out one scenario:
Eliminating rent regulation would be such a huge windfall for landlords, Mayer says, that he could imagine a sort of grand bargain. The programs go away, but landlords have to pay higher property taxes. The extra city revenue could go to a fund to help poor people afford market-rate apartments. In theory, this could be designed to make the shift win-win-win. The city could stay socioeconomically diverse without any six-bedroom apartments renting for $225.
Writes Davidson: "What happens if all the rich people are on one island and the poor but creative are somewhere else? "
Anyway, there's a lot to take in with the article... too much to quickly recap in a post. Go read the article here.