Thursday, November 12, 2015

Subsidizing luxury, ignoring affordability ... or, "housing strategies from our local Democrats."

The city of New Albany is subsidizing "luxury" apartments to the tune of millions of dollars, even as all available evidence indicates these are not what the market demands.

At the same time, any mention of affordable housing before mayor or council is met with the modern-day equivalent of waving the bloody shirt: "No More Housing Projects."

Undoubtedly this stems from the firmly suburbanite-centric conceptual orientation of New Albany politics, wherein affordable rentals are associated with unclean lifestyles and the "wrong" kind of people (see: registrations and inspections, rental properties, NO GO).

And yet escalating experience all across the nation indicates that any genuine concern for the housing needs of strongly desired "millennials" would be met by affordable housing, not "luxury" housing.

Once Flaherty Collins has bankrolled its Gahan-induced profit guarantee and made the requisite political deposits, will the apartments remain "luxurious" if the market rules otherwise? If they did not, wouldn't this finally represent a rational response?

There Are Plenty of New Apartments Being Built—Just Not Affordable Ones, by Gillian B. White (City Lab)

... The Fed researchers took a look at housing supply and found that there’s a lot more construction happening at the top of the market, where developers and builders are quickly getting luxury apartments to market. The wide selection of swanky apartments actually helps to keep inflation at bay for pricier properties. Since there are so many options at the top of the market, landlords compete for new tenants, which helps keep the cost down for consumers.

But for those in lower income brackets, things aren’t working out as nicely. Construction has been slow for cheaper apartments, since many developers are more focused on renovating existing properties or building new ones in hopes of appealing to more affluent renters ...

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