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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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MDM wrote:
One of the comments posted an interesting link:

40% of the Buildings in NYC couldn't be built today


Not surprising at all.

Dan, a "tenement" is simply a building intended as a multifamily, as opposed to many brownstones that were single family converted to multi. They were built for the middle and working class who could not afford single family homes. I cannot find any reference that says any were built for the poor, though some were so cheaply made they rapidly became undesirable for anyone but. It's extremely hard to make money from the poor for obvious reasons. Anyone doing it today is getting government money in some form. I find no evidence anyone "built for the poor" in the 19th century.

http://ci.columbia.edu/0240s/0243_2/0243_2_s1_text.html
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When the buildings were new, when the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street was new in the 1860s, it probably provided a decent place for immigrants, and the early residents were largely German in this case because most immigrants to New York in the mid-nineteenth century were German and Irish. But by the late nineteenth century, as little maintenance was done on the building as it deteriorated and as more and more people lived in the building, conditions got even worse.


FWIW, when people describe the building where I live as a brownstone I correct them and say it's a tenement.

Posted on: 6/6 16:41
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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What is silent from this conversation is the tax liens that happens every year. This past December 6,700 properties were in tax lien. Did all lose their property? No, about 2/3 were able to come up with the money. But these people are struggling because they are paying the taxes for others. Compare our taxes liens to Secaucus which does not promote affordable housing. That town had 13 tax liens, but I will grant it is a smaller town, if it had the same population as JC, that would be 200 people in lien. So where is the affordable housing for the small homeowner? What isn't that part of the conversation? It is not because someone must pay the tab.

Posted on: 6/6 16:04
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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JCGuys wrote:


The comments section is a fun read as it points out the many flaws in the PhD student's analysis.



One of the comments posted an interesting link:

40% of the Buildings in NYC couldn't be built today

Posted on: 6/6 13:36
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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DanL wrote:
Does Upzoning Boost the Housing Supply and Lower Prices? Maybe Not. - https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/01/z ... nt-gentrification/581677/



That's a comically flawed "study" by a PhD student. It concludes that upzoning did not result in additional units being built and raised the cost of real estate.

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Freemark reaches two startling conclusions that should at least temper our enthusiasm about the potential of zoning reform to solve the housing crisis—conclusions that, interestingly enough, he has said he did not set out to find. First, he finds no effect from zoning changes on housing supply—that is, on the construction of newly permitted units over five years. (As he acknowledges, the process of adding supply is arduous and may take longer than five years to register.) Caveats and all, this is an important finding that is very much at odds with the conventional wisdom.

Second, instead of falling prices, as the conventional wisdom predicts, the study finds the opposite. Housing prices rose on the parcels and in projects that were upzoned, notably those where building sizes increased.


The comments section is a fun read as it points out the many flaws in the PhD student's analysis.

Posted on: 6/6 12:42
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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Does Upzoning Boost the Housing Supply and Lower Prices? Maybe Not. - https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/01/z ... nt-gentrification/581677/

‘Build More Housing’ Is No Match for Inequality - https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/05 ... inequality-cities/588997/

In the past, for profit developers built small row and frame homes for the working class and tenements for the poor. there has always been money to be made from servicing the low income.



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brewster wrote:
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DanL wrote:
in theory, the market works, in practice developers and investors build only luxury or top of the market housing both here and elsewhere without subsidies and government restrictions/requirements.

What is the data you base this claim on the effect of loosened zoning over a whole region? I have not heard of it being done. The effect of redevelopment zones is NOT what we're talking about, but of allowing as of right 4-6 floor midrise density anywhere we currently have R-1.

But even were I to concede you are correct, if enough was built it would have the same effect. Inventory at the top would relieve the downward pressure of gentrification. Jane Jacobs said the tradition ecology of cities was that housing was built for the wealthy and handed down to those less well off as it got tatty, ending up as slums. No one ever built housing for the poor until the era of public housing projects, a dismal failure of the ideas of Le Corbusier and his compatriots.

Zoning and rent control interrupted this "natural" process. There was never enough built postwar to relieve the shortage, and then rent control doomed large numbers of prewar apartment building to destruction because it was not worth maintaining them for the rents allowed. Today it seems illogical that there was a shortage of housing and vacancy rates never fell at a time when apartment buildings were being abandoned, but that is the history. The NYC vacancy rate never rose above the 5% level to stand down from a "rent emergency".

Posted on: 6/6 12:13
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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DanL wrote:
in theory, the market works, in practice developers and investors build only luxury or top of the market housing both here and elsewhere without subsidies and government restrictions/requirements.

What is the data you base this claim on the effect of loosened zoning over a whole region? I have not heard of it being done. The effect of redevelopment zones is NOT what we're talking about, but of allowing as of right 4-6 floor midrise density anywhere we currently have R-1.

But even were I to concede you are correct, if enough was built it would have the same effect. Inventory at the top would relieve the downward pressure of gentrification. Jane Jacobs said the tradition ecology of cities was that housing was built for the wealthy and handed down to those less well off as it got tatty, ending up as slums. No one ever built housing for the poor until the era of public housing projects, a dismal failure of the ideas of Le Corbusier and his compatriots.

Zoning and rent control interrupted this "natural" process. There was never enough built postwar to relieve the shortage, and then rent control doomed large numbers of prewar apartment building to destruction because it was not worth maintaining them for the rents allowed. Today it seems illogical that there was a shortage of housing and vacancy rates never fell at a time when apartment buildings were being abandoned, but that is the history. The NYC vacancy rate never rose above the 5% level to stand down from a "rent emergency".

Posted on: 6/6 2:00
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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in theory, the market works, in practice developers and investors build only luxury or top of the market housing both here and elsewhere without subsidies and government restrictions/requirements.


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bodhipooh wrote:
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Yvonne wrote:
How can you have affordable housing when taxpayers paid $909 million to the county, school, and city governments in 2018? The way affordable housing is done is by passing off low income housing taxes onto the general tax paying homeowner who does not have a tax abatement. But that makes housing more expensive for that group of property owners. It is the equivalent of having a restaurant and charging one group a lower price, then inflate the price for another group to cover the group who had the reduced meal. Down the road, someone will pay the tab.


As usual, you find yourself out of your depth, but that doesnt stop you from spewing an uninformed opinion. You are conflating subsidized housing with the concept of "affordable housing". Affordable housing is about ensuring that there is enough supply to meet demand, so that prices are not driven up exuberantly because of competition for what little is available.

Affordable housing is about ensuring that a majority middle class is able to afford to live locally, and the working class is able to reside in relative proximity to where they work. So, instead of having $5,000 rents for a 2+ bedroom apartment, you end up with something lower. If instead of 1,000 units for 2,000 people you had 2,000 units for 2,000 people, competition is lowered and prices would not skyrocket. Encouraging the city to loosen zoning rules and limitations, along with approving development that helps alleviate the situation, is the smart thing to do: it is not subsidized, and it would allow us slow down the frenetic rent increases of recent times.

Posted on: 6/6 0:29
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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Several years ago, there was a Jersey Journal article on the loss of taxes not collected from abatements, then the loss was $80 million a year. So, what will be the loss with new affordable housing? The public should be told. The public is told what ingredients go into a can of soup or the fabrics of our clothes, so why hide the information on the cost of affordable housing?

Posted on: 6/5 23:02
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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brewster wrote:
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JCBORN wrote:
I think everyone knew the rents were going to go up once the RE taxes went up. Now we have a crisis and we don't know what to do with ourselves.


Incorrect. Taxes did NOT go up in the reval, the load got redistributed to be more fair. Many properties saw taxes go down.


You are right. Many property owners did see their taxes go down. Chances are those properties were not downtown and their rents may not be as high. The previous post mentioned DTJC with a rent of 3.2K for a 1bedroom. I would be surprised if you cannot find a 1 bedroom in Greenville for about 1k. I would not call that a crisis. If you cannot afford to live downtown you have other options. It is almost like buying a car and knowing your budget.
When my taxes were "redistributed" I had to "redistribute" with my tenants. Otherwise, I would have to sell since I would be in the red every month.

Posted on: 6/5 22:27
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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JCBORN wrote:
I think everyone knew the rents were going to go up once the RE taxes went up. Now we have a crisis and we don't know what to do with ourselves.


Incorrect. Taxes did NOT go up in the reval, the load got redistributed to be more fair. Many properties saw taxes go down.

Posted on: 6/5 21:35
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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I think everyone knew the rents were going to go up once the RE taxes went up. Now we have a crisis and we don't know what to do with ourselves.

Posted on: 6/5 20:19
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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bodhipooh wrote:
I would argue it is better to attract MORE residents than businesses, as residents would have an emotional and physical bond to the city, instead of the daytime employees that come here, clog our streets, speed like crazy, and generally have no vested interest in our communities.


But people like Yvonne disagree with that totally, as do places like Silicon Valley cities, who lure vast numbers of well paying jobs that bring in tax dollars, but refuse to allow adequate housing for those workers to be built driving home prices to astronomic levels. Everyone wins except the new workers who have to either spend all their salary on housing or commute 2 hrs each way.


The Silicon Valley thing is truly a mess: in between NIMBY types opposing more housing construction, existing overly restrictive zoning laws, and the booming dot-com / tech industries, the situation there will not improve anytime soon, if ever. Housing starts are not even half what they need per year, making it near impossible to ever recover. Sadly, the parallels with JC are many. It is no coincidence (nor at all surprising) that even previously shunned or ignored areas are seeing a huge influx of newcomers. Greenville will soon be no different than BeLa, as more yuppies come to JC but are unable to afford the DTJC rents. Many buildings in DTJC (mine included) now command 3.2K / month for a 1bd/1ba, and vacancies only last a short time before getting snapped up.

Posted on: 6/5 17:19
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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bodhipooh wrote:
I would argue it is better to attract MORE residents than businesses, as residents would have an emotional and physical bond to the city, instead of the daytime employees that come here, clog our streets, speed like crazy, and generally have no vested interest in our communities.


But people like Yvonne disagree with that totally, as do places like Silicon Valley cities, who lure vast numbers of well paying jobs that bring in tax dollars, but refuse to allow adequate housing for those workers to be built driving home prices to astronomic levels. Everyone wins except the new workers who have to either spend all their salary on housing or commute 2 hrs each way.

Posted on: 6/5 16:12
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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Yvonne wrote:
Vacant land requires few services but people do require services: more police, more fire stations, roads, schools, parks and more public employees to handle services. Then there is the infrastructure for water and sewerage. Actually, in the Mount Laurel decision, there was a cost analysis of what new construction will cost that town. Then the township back in the 1980s had a cost of $35,000 for every new resident. That figure will probably be triple today. For JC, the immediate concerns is education. How do we pay for more schools and teachers with influx of families especially in Bayfront which expects 10,000 more residents. By the way, Bayfront will cost JC homeowners a bond of $170 million and that does not include the interest over the next 20 years.


Be that as it may, additional residents means additional revenue. Those people that will cost the city $170 million in a bond, will be contributing tax revenue for years to come, and if we can get the city to be more judicious about their spending, there is no reason why things should not work out in the end.

In the end, it seems to me like you would like JC to remain "as is" without any additional growth or changes. It is an unrealistic goal/desire: not only are people wanting to come here, but the idea that you can stifle growth and change is simply unrealistic and the logical conclusion of a city that doesn't grow or welcome newcomers is that it will eventually die off, as the existing people die or leave.

In fact, since you like anecdotes so much, here is a personal one from my recent trips all over Europe visiting small towns and villages: all over Spain, Portugal, and Italy, entire towns and villages are becoming essentially ghost towns as younger people flock to the large cities (Lisboa and Porto in Portugal, Paris, Bordeaux and Lyon in France, and Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga in Spain) and leave behind their hometowns. These smaller towns that have failed to attract business and people are literally dying off, as older people remain and then die, and empty storefronts abound. It is a stark sight to roll into a small town that is almost deserted and devoid of life. I wouldn't want that fate for Jersey City, and there is no reason for that to be the case. In fact, I would argue it is better to attract MORE residents than businesses, as residents would have an emotional and physical bond to the city, instead of the daytime employees that come here, clog our streets, speed like crazy, and generally have no vested interest in our communities.

Posted on: 6/5 14:10
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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Vacant land requires few services but people do require services: more police, more fire stations, roads, schools, parks and more public employees to handle services. Then there is the infrastructure for water and sewerage. Actually, in the Mount Laurel decision, there was a cost analysis of what new construction will cost that town. Then the township back in the 1980s had a cost of $35,000 for every new resident. That figure will probably be triple today. For JC, the immediate concerns is education. How do we pay for more schools and teachers with influx of families especially in Bayfront which expects 10,000 more residents. By the way, Bayfront will cost JC homeowners a bond of $170 million and that does not include the interest over the next 20 years.

Posted on: 6/5 2:17
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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Yvonne wrote:
How can you have affordable housing when taxpayers paid $909 million to the county, school, and city governments in 2018? The way affordable housing is done is by passing off low income housing taxes onto the general tax paying homeowner who does not have a tax abatement. But that makes housing more expensive for that group of property owners. It is the equivalent of having a restaurant and charging one group a lower price, then inflate the price for another group to cover the group who had the reduced meal. Down the road, someone will pay the tab.


As usual, you find yourself out of your depth, but that doesnt stop you from spewing an uninformed opinion. You are conflating subsidized housing with the concept of "affordable housing". Affordable housing is about ensuring that there is enough supply to meet demand, so that prices are not driven up exuberantly because of competition for what little is available.

Affordable housing is about ensuring that a majority middle class is able to afford to live locally, and the working class is able to reside in relative proximity to where they work. So, instead of having $5,000 rents for a 2+ bedroom apartment, you end up with something lower. If instead of 1,000 units for 2,000 people you had 2,000 units for 2,000 people, competition is lowered and prices would not skyrocket. Encouraging the city to loosen zoning rules and limitations, along with approving development that helps alleviate the situation, is the smart thing to do: it is not subsidized, and it would allow us slow down the frenetic rent increases of recent times.

Posted on: 6/5 1:42
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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How can you have affordable housing when taxpayers paid $909 million to the county, school, and city governments in 2018? The way affordable housing is done is by passing off low income housing taxes onto the general tax paying homeowner who does not have a tax abatement. But that makes housing more expensive for that group of property owners. It is the equivalent of having a restaurant and charging one group a lower price, then inflate the price for another group to cover the group who had the reduced meal. Down the road, someone will pay the tab.

Posted on: 6/5 1:13
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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bodhipooh wrote:
Quote:

brewster wrote:
Here's why we have an inventory, and thus affordability, crisis: developers cannot today build what's on the left, only what's on the right. 56 homes, vs perhaps 8. Building "affordable housing" is still rationing it while we keep supply low with zoning to protect incumbent owners and the precious street parking.

Resized Image


Bravo. A perfect illustration of why we have an affordability crisis. Not all that different than the situation in San Francisco, where zoning laws have prevented much needed large scale construction. The height restrictions encased in zoning laws have prevented much needed development. Jersey City will continue to get more exponentially expensive as more people flock here, and as more businesses open up or relocate here, while we continue to limit new construction. Even the much touted 34,000 units approved for construction will not satisfy current population growth trends. Current estimates are that JC has grown almost 10% since 2010. At this rate, we will need another 30,000 units by 2030 and those may not even be enough. It is way overdue that the city and its council take up the current zoning laws and make the necessary changes to enable JC to accommodate its projected growth.


Bravo indeed! That's the perfect image to illustrate the problem.

Posted on: 6/4 23:52
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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JCBORN wrote:
Maybe the City or State can build a few of those buildings and have affordable housing? Perhaps another "Hudson Gardens"?

The only thing accomplished by that is lip service and a few homes rationed out, that come nowhere near filling the need. Market power needs to be unleashed by loosening the zoning regionwide. It doesn't work if it's too limited, just like the redevelopment zones haven't eased the crisis, they're not nearly enough to overcome the effect of attracting new residents and actually drive up the vacancy rate.

The same people that decry costs are the ones that want to lock the city in amber and never have it change. It's the future residents who have the most interest in higher density and better transit like a BRT up the spine of the city on Ocean and Summit, even if it costs driving space & parking spots.

Posted on: 6/4 22:07
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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brewster wrote:
Here's why we have an inventory, and thus affordability, crisis: developers cannot today build what's on the left, only what's on the right. 56 homes, vs perhaps 8. Building "affordable housing" is still rationing it while we keep supply low with zoning to protect incumbent owners and the precious street parking.

Resized Image


Bravo. A perfect illustration of why we have an affordability crisis. Not all that different than the situation in San Francisco, where zoning laws have prevented much needed large scale construction. The height restrictions encased in zoning laws have prevented much needed development. Jersey City will continue to get more exponentially expensive as more people flock here, and as more businesses open up or relocate here, while we continue to limit new construction. Even the much touted 34,000 units approved for construction will not satisfy current population growth trends. Current estimates are that JC has grown almost 10% since 2010. At this rate, we will need another 30,000 units by 2030 and those may not even be enough. It is way overdue that the city and its council take up the current zoning laws and make the necessary changes to enable JC to accommodate its projected growth.

Posted on: 6/4 21:35
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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brewster wrote:
Here's why we have an inventory, and thus affordability, crisis: developers cannot today build what's on the left, only what's on the right. 56 homes, vs perhaps 8. Building "affordable housing" is still rationing it while we keep supply low with zoning to protect incumbent owners and the precious street parking.

Resized Image


Maybe the City or State can build a few of those buildings and have affordable housing? Perhaps another "Hudson Gardens"?

Posted on: 6/4 21:17
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Re: Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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Here's why we have an inventory, and thus affordability, crisis: developers cannot today build what's on the left, only what's on the right. 56 homes, vs perhaps 8. Building "affordable housing" is still rationing it while we keep supply low with zoning to protect incumbent owners and the precious street parking.

Resized Image

Posted on: 6/4 20:27
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Spotlight On: Affordable housing
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BY Michael Hill, Correspondent | June 3, 2019, 5PM EST

An NJ Spotlight forum put the spotlight on the quest to make progress on the decadeslong battle of building affordable housing in the Garden State.

“The very premise for the original Mt. Laurel litigation and the doctrine to move poor people out of the poverty-stricken urban areas and into the suburbs has literally been turned upside down,” said Peter Reinhart, director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University.

Reinhart says Generation X and millennials’ appetite for city life and access to mass transportation have removed places such as Jersey City from the “poor-city” list when the Mount Laurel lawsuit began five decades ago. There were some unintended consequences.

“There’s now this system of displacement happening as a result of gentrification where now a place in Jersey City like Greenville where the rent was $700 a month 10 years ago. The rent is now $2,000 a month,” said Housing and Community Development Network Board Chairman John Restrepo.

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