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Showing posts from July, 2018

What NYC needs to do to build more affordable housing

There are many ways the city could provide more affordable housing to low-income renters. 1. Subsidize rents. More unconventional strategies include "buy-down" programs sponsored by corporations, "in which the city would purchase empty high-end apartments and then subsidize their rents for lower-income families with the help of corporate funding." In Denver, Chipotle is the first "employer partner" to try its hand at this. Atlanta has announced its intention to try similar partnerships. 2. Develop nonprofit financing. Under the Bloomberg administration, the Bowery Residents Committee (BRC) built low-income housing at Landing Road as part of its building that housed its shelter. It took the surplus from the shelter to operate the private low-income apartments.  BRC  has also begun the Way Home Fund, a goal to raise $7 million as a revolving fund to kick off a pipeline of projects similar to Landing Road. The organization believes that amount is sufficie

Federal Abandonment of Public Housing

Public housing began during the Roosevelt years. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the United States Housing Act, known as Wagner-Steagall, to support building low-rent public housing. In the wake of  President Truman‘s surprise reelection in 1948, Congress passed the bill now known as the Housing Act of 1949 and re-authorized the public housing program. The GI Bill after World War II supported veterans in securing low-interest loans to own their own homes. In the 1950s Congress passed a second Housing Act focused on conserving and rehabilitating low-income housing. All these laws favored white people. The 1950s were famous for "urban renewal" which meant that the federal government provided grants for slum clearance that often meant cities would choose the poorest section of town to abolish residences and build new construction.  In the 1960s, public housing became less discriminatory with Kennedy's Equal Opportunity in Housing Act. President Johnson eleva