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View Diary: NYTimes Report today - Affordable Housing Crisis - Well, DUH! (17 comments)

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  •  Not everyone has a mortgage. (6+ / 0-)

    RENT has most certainly gone up, and up, and UP.  Every year, regardless of whether wages or Social Security benefits have or not.  

    Those on fixed or low incomes, or who have lost their income through layoffs, are struggling to keep up with the cost of housing.  There are only two jurisdictions (okay, three) that I know of that have ANY kind of rent control -- NYC, Los Angeles (and Takoma Park, MD, which is an oddly progressive little community).  

    If you're lucky, your rent goes up only 5% or so.  But I've seen increases as high as 15%, 20% -- and if you don't sign a full-year lease,, even higher.  (I saw a 50% increase once....).   And even if you can swing it this year... what happens the following year when they raise it another 10-12%?

    And at least around my area (metro DC), the new rental housing that is being built is unaffordable if you're not in decent paying job, or have a double-income from two adults working in your household.  If you're a single parent, and not making professional level wages?  forget it.

    We have a constant battle with our local county and state governments who think that "affordable housing" means "subsidized mortgages" and that's it.  They tend to forget how many hundreds of thousands of people rent, and cannot ever afford to buy.    

    •  In my area these big complexes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney, alice kleeman, LilithGardener

      Charge $25 per person ($50 per couple) for a non-refundable application fee.  I tried to help a couple, they DIDN'T GET an apartment and the Complex kept my $50!!!

      Hell, who needs apartments.  Just open an office and collect application fees.  this should be illegal, imo.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 03:43:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Other California cities have rent control (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, alice kleeman

      -San Francisco
      -Santa Monica

      Some other cities have rent control that is very limited in scope. In San Francisco (where I live) rent control only covers properties constructed before 1979; I believe that Oakland and San Jose have similar restrictions as well and San Jose's rent control ordinance covers fewer properties than the cities listed above.

      In San Francisco, permitted increases in rent-controlled buildings typically are on the order of 1% but are unlimited upon turnover.

      I understand that the current asking monthly rent for a studio apartment in San Francisco averages approximately $2,000, and the median monthly rent for all apartments is even higher than it is in NYC.

      Virtually no new subsidized rental housing has been constructed in close to 30 years with the exception of a small number of units for low-income elderly (62 and older) being built and operated under HUD's Section 202 program. There was no new funding for the Section 202 program over the past two years; none is budgeted for Fiscal Year 2013 either.

      The vast majority of below-market-rate housing these days is housing financed through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. These properties tend to be more similar to market-rate rental housing in general; rather than providing direct subsidies to residents, rents are limited based on various percentages of median income (generally between 30% and 60%). The downside, apart from the fact that there is no tenant-specific subsidy, is that it is difficult to find people who are able to afford the rent for units in these properties yet who don't make too much money to qualify for them. These properties tend to be more feasible in areas where the "affordable" rent is significantly below the locality's market rental rate but there are many areas where maximum affordable rents are about the same as current market-rate rents (think such places as Stockton, CA, and Las Vegas, NV). And the problem with those areas where there IS a big difference between the affordable rent level and the market rent are also places where construction costs are so high that only developments that use multiple sources of funding, with a multitude of very complex income restrictions, is financially feasible.

    •  Re (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It won't keep increasing, because it can't.

      Rent is something people have to physically pay.

      It will always be constrained by income.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 04:41:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rent can always keep on rising above income. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What happens is that people double up, or triple up, such as here in New York. Newly arrived young people with a hankering to live in a certain neighborhood may go in with 6 other singles to share a loft apartment.

        It can go even further when party A rents a large studio and puts in a wall in part of it, to make a bedroom to sublet to party B - which creates a fire hazard for party B, but that's a different story.

        •  Those are one-time events (0+ / 0-)

          Once you subdivide an apartment like that, you can't do it again.

          Besides, this isn't about young college-educated New Yorkers, this is about the poor.

          There will always be a mechanism to limit access to desirable housing because of limited supply. If you have subsidized rents, it's a lottery mechanism. If it's rent control, it's first-one-in gets it, no one else gets a chance. If it's market rent, it's whoever can pay.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:17:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's about demand exceeding supply (0+ / 0-)

            and people needing to be where the jobs are.

            Families and couples double up too.  In some cases 3 generations, sharing a 2 bedroom apartment.

            Or 2 couples sharing a 2 bedroom apartment, taking turns who gets the bedroom and who gets to sleep in the living room.

            There are also illegal sublets and illegal short term rentals (such as renting a furnished apartment by the week) that take rental units off the residential market.

            The New York metropolitan area has had a shortage of rental properties for a few decades now.

      •  Actually rents have gone up significantly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error, LilithGardener

        since the 2008 crash because people lost homes and needed to move to rental properties and because many property owners saw pressure on the lending side.  Plus a lot of properties were upgraded on the premise that they could command higher rents - which also put a squeeze on both owners and renters.

        It doesn't help that the banks sat on foreclosed properties thereby effectively reducing available housing stock.

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