The lack of affordable housing is an enormous burden on working class and middle class households and is a major contributor to the perpetuation of residential racial segregation.
In the suburban context, segregation is perpetuated through restrictive zoning rules that make the development of affordable housing impractical. In the New York City context (and in the context of some other cities), the lack of mandatory inclusionary zoning has played a role, as has the fact that large parts of New York and other cities have relatively low density (large areas where only single-family and two-family homes can be built). During the Bloomberg years, rezonings (as in Staten Island) intensified the problem.
Often, jurisdictions give preferences for residents of the neighborhood where affordable housing is going to be built are used. If a neighborhood is segregated (as are almost all New York City Community Districts), then such preferences invariably perpetuate segregation, too.
Links to a limited number of affordable housing listings are below; clearly, much more needs to be done.
Help us expose the lie that people aren’t prepared to change neighborhoods to get good housing
One important key to the preservation of the status quo is the idea — peddled by those who want to keep some families out (“those people”) and by those who want to keep some families in (“our constituents”) is that families will only be interested in housing near where they currently live.
We think that is false. Would you be open to high quality affordable housing outside of your current neighborhood? Use the form on the right to let us know.