Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Not gonna YIMBY your way to affordable housing

You can keep building nice things for rich people as long as you like. That might eventually drive the price of nice things for rich people down a little bit.  It won't solve the actual problem, though.
“For-profit developers have predominantly built for the luxury and higher end of the market, leaving a glut of overpriced apartments in some cities,” said Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an advocacy group. “Some decision-makers believed this would ‘filter down’ to the lowest income people, but it clearly will not meet their needs.”

Poorer city residents have experienced significant rent increases over the past several years. In Portland, average rents for the poor have risen from about $1,100 to $1,600 — or by more than 40 percent — since 2011.

In San Francisco, the average rent at the bottom of the market has soared from $1,700 to $2,600, a nearly 50 percent increase. Seattle’s poor have also had their rents rise by close to 40 percent. Nationwide, rents for those at the bottom have increased by 18 percent.

Rising rents for the poor threaten to add to the nation’s homeless population, and put an additional severe strain on tens of millions of families, often forcing them to forgo other basic needs to avoid losing their housing.
At present the stated policy response to the housing crisis in New Orleans is to "find balance." But so far that has implied more zoning exemptions for more nice things for rich people.

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