Monday, December 16, 2013

Little sign of affordable housing

Reading through the comments on this New York Times article gave me much less hope for the place. Most of the comments complain about at least one of the following: too much development, too many ugly large buildings, and too expensive of housing.

Almost no one seems to understand the basic problem. Several million more people want to live in New York City then actually live there. Either they build enough new housing for all of these people, other cities step up and become competitive with the city, they make the city a worse place to live or housing prices continue to go through the roof. There is no magic option where the city stays exactly like it is today, but prices become reasonable.

I am a huge advocate for creating several new Manhattans around the country while building like crazy in the real one. Unfortunately almost no one seems to understand that by fighting development, they make sky high prices inevitable.

Hopefully Los Angeles steps up and takes this role. From a technical standpoint it would not be an issue to build a couple million high density housing units and a few hundred subway stations near downtown. All the city would need to do would be make the permitting process dead simple for new skyscrapers while demanding money from developers for subway expansion. There are some signs of this with the tallest building on the west coast under construction along with a handful of new subway stations and quite a number of light rail stations. Still, the NIMBYs are strong and current levels of development are too slow.

No comments: