Perhaps more so than in other areas of urban policy, housing is where ideas and notions meet bricks and mortar, literally. And some preconceptions pass the reality check more than others.
Homeownership, for instance, has long been held out as a primary life goal for the middle and working class. There are reasons to doubt that having a deed in your filing cabinet is a panacea, but even if we set those aside, recent research by the Furman Center (reflected in this policy analysis by Caroline Nagy) make clear that the goal is all but unreachable for a growing swath of local households.
That’s not the only notion that’s being tested as New York City wrestles with a housing crisis. Density, which is the special sauce in Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan, is the implicit focus of the fascinating recent New York Times series about crowded sidewalks and overloaded parks and pools. And community-based planning, which is supposed to be part of the mayor’s approach to rezonings, will see a real test when the land-use processes or Jerome Avenue and East Harlem kick into higher gear.
Gotham Gazette’s Ben Max and City Limits’ Jarrett Murphy look back at the last fortnight in New York City housing news: