Stalled-Out New York

No one has been immune to the current economic slump, including the all-mighty New York City. The stagnant condo situation in the city is a prime example of the extensive reach of the situation. The Department of Buildings calculated that 454 condominium buildings have either stopped construction or have a large number of vacant units.

A grassroots alliance is tallying that the number from the Department of Buildings to be severely miscalculated, therefore, largely under-representing the actual severity of the problem by 25 percent. The Right to the City – New York tallied a total of 601 condominium buildings scattered across a half-dozen neighborhoods. They found 126 of those buildings in downtown Brooklyn, 108 in Bushwick, 116 in the LES, 99 in Harlem, 93 in South Bronx, and 59 in the West Village.

To try to reconcile the situation at present, the city proposed a $20 million pilot program, the Housing Asset Renewal Program, in July of this year. The idea is to turn unsold condos and stalled residential buildings into as many as 400 affordable housing units. It’s about time someone had the brilliant idea of providing affordable housing in New York City! Without low-income housing, the city’s homelessness rates will only keep going up, along with the number of buildings’ vacancy rates that currently vary from 60 percent to more than 90 percent.

Although it’s still unclear how many developers would want to participate in the Housing Asset Renewal Program, there is reason to believe that a substantial amount of developers will decided to ride out the economy until it recovers. Since most government programs take at least two years to be implemented, by then people will start selling and renting apartments again anyway.

Via: Crain’s NY