Sunday, November 4, 2007

Keeping New Yorkers in New York

For 18 years, Mr. Murphy lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Queens. His $630 monthly rent was protected under Mitchell-Lama, a state program that gives tax-exempt financing to builders and then guarantees rent protection. But after a long battle in the courts and with the tenants, the building’s owners left the Mitchell-Lama program. Annual rent increases of 7 to 8 percent were supposed to bring the rent up to market value in nine years.

Growing Old in New York, and Struggling to Keep Up With Ever-Increasing Rents

After more than a year on waiting lists, Mr. Murphy secured a one-bedroom apartment in senior housing sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Manhattan’s West Side. Rent is calculated as a portion of income, and Mr. Murphy’s is $308 a month.

“It was a blessing,” Mr. Murphy said. “My biggest fear in life was being a homeless person. Seeing people sleeping on a park bench, I always had that fear. I don’t know why, it just scared me, you know?”

8 comments:

westernqueensland said...

We're moving to a Mitchel - Lama apartment in December and we consider ourselves lucky. However there are too few of them and there is a creeping insecurity associated with the project. I think the contrast between the sub-prime debacle and affordable housing of the days of yore make for an interesting contrast.

Anonymous said...

Gee, where are all those groups that talk about affordable housing.

They are phony.

They are doing nothing to preserve current affordable housing, but are merely a Trojan horse for the developers. Note how they only talk about NEW affordable housing.

Never see them when the Rent Control Board is jacking up rents, Stuyvesant Town sell-off, or the Mitchell-Lama fiasco.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why a person who has worked his whole life could only afford to split with a roomate rent of $650-$850 a month, and have no savings. I'm all for helping people who cannot help themselves, but to me something does not add up here.

Seth said...

I don't understand why a person who has worked his whole life could only afford...

This from me, a political and fiscal conservative, no less, who has lived in a number of large cities, including New York:

Next time you go out, Anon, pay closer attention to those who do all the jobs around you that most of us don't even think about.

Whether it's due to an individual being unpromotable due to lack of requisite aptitudes, lacking the wherewithal in some way or other to further his/her education or common simple-mindedness, there are millions of people out there who make lifelong careers of jobs that barely pay enough to keep a roof over their heads, eat frugally and get the bills paid, let alone afford them the luxury of a savings account or retirement investments.

If all such people suddenly disappeared, we would undoubtedly notice a serious downturn in our overall quality of life.

Anonymous said...

what seth said. Try working at McDs or any retail job that pays less than $10 an hour. And try getting out of such a lifestyle to "better yourself" when you're already working your buns off doing manual labor.

Anonymous said...

Ok, but why should a government in a free society have to ensure that low-wage workers have an entitlement to lifelong low rent in the same apartment so they never have to move? If market housing patterns shift, renters move to other low-rent locations. If you want the government to control where people can live, you shouldn't be in a free democratic country.

low $$$$ said...

Because you (and the rest of society)
needs the working class
that you so obviously disdain....
last anonymous poster.......
if for nothing less
than to wipe your privileged ass!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the immigrants have flooded the lower end job market not to contribute to our country or communities, but to suck off funds (that should be spent back into the local economy) to be sent back to their country.

The take away jobs from American citizens, particularly at the low end. Then those people become a burden on taxpayers which takes away taxes from the local ecomony making it even more frail.