Breaking down the issue that defined and sometimes derailed the de Blasio administration and the challenge confronting the next mayor.
From the first days of its history as a five-borough metropolis, New York City has struggled to reconcile the private housing market with the essential human need it is supposed to fulfill. Just three years after the consolidation that created New York as we know it, the state passed a law regulating tenement design. Fifteen years later, the city passed the first citywide zoning ordinance in the United States. Out of New York’s two massive 20th Century crises—the Great Depression and the fiscal crisis—came new ways of providing decent housing, first NYCHA and then Mayor Koch’s 10-year housing plan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg repaired and built a lot of housing and Mayor Bill de Blasio repaired and built a lot more, but the past seven years have been a reminder of how deep and broad the issue is, as public housing faced severe maintenance problems, homeless shelters swelled, landlords and tenants battled over rent regulations and the mayor’s rezoning stirred resentment.
All of which means whoever is elected mayor in November will have not one simple housing problem, but a web of interconnected housing puzzles to address. In the video below, Max & Murphy break down the housing issue and the questions all candidates should be prepared to answer about their plans for dealing with it.