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September 21, 2012
No Vacancy, or, why does New York City have a housing shortage, with so many vacant apartments?
by Gregory A. Butler
How dare Gregory Butler rain on Bruce Ratner's big ribbon-cutting.
As every poor or working class New Yorker knows, the city has a chronic shortage of decent affordable housing. Single poor or working class adults routinely live with roommates, many people live with relatives rather than setting up housekeeping on their own, families often live doubled up with distant relatives or even families they aren’t related to because, in the words of populist former mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan, “the rent is too damned high” in this city.
Indeed the rents are too damned high – an average 2 bedroom apartment in Upper Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx or Brooklyn rents for about $ 1,800 a month. In the rest of Manhattan, an average studio apartment (one big room with a kitchen off to one side and a bathroom) rents for around $ 2,500/mo. If you need a 2 bedroom, it’s around $ 4,000/mo!
Those are the prices for “walkups” (apartments in buildings with no elevator, where you may have to walk up seven flights of stairs to get to your apartment). These apartments aren’t that big either. The average studio is around 250 square feet – a “large” (by New York standards) 2 bedroom might be 1,400 square feet. Almost always, electricity and gas are extra.
Needless to say, not a one of the 20,000 apartments [NLG: Actually 6,430 units, of which 2,250 are pledged to be "affordable" rentals] that billionaire [NLG: Actually, multi-Millionaire] Bruce Ratner is building in Prospect Heights will be affordable to the average working class or poor New Yorker, not even the so called “affordable” ones.
Posted by eric at September 21, 2012 11:54 AM