Rent Stabilization: Fair, Foul, or Futile to Complain About?

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    This week’s “Big City” column in the Times by Ginia Bellafante tackles the rent-regulation debate du jour, the case that the Supreme Court is looking at concerning an Upper West Side couple that are challenging the fairness of the rent-stabilization laws that are keeping protecting in their building with below-market rents. Here are the two sides of the coin, based on data Bellafante presents:

    “According to an analysis of the most recent city data, which date to 2008, by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, the median income of a New Yorker in a rent-stabilized apartment is $36,000 a year; in Manhattan, it is $50,000. …Of the city’s 1,063,000 rent-regulated units, approximately 41,000 are in the hands of households making $150,000 a year or more. …according to the city data, approximately 240,000 rent-controlled and rent-stabilized units are occupied by those making $15,000 or less a year.”

    The piece ends with some food for thought that hits close to home: “It is easy to walk around a neighborhood like Cobble Hill in Brooklyn and never think about the extent to which rows and rows of beautifully preserved, untouchable low-rise brownstones contribute to the city’s perennial housing shortage. And, anyway, it’s a lot more fun to blame Faye Dunaway.”
    Wars Over Regulation of Rent Are Only a Sideshow [NY Times]
    Graph via City Realty

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