The Mayor of New York City (and future US President) Michael Bloomberg has stated a goal to build and preserve 165,000 affordable housing units by 2013.

That goal becomes harder and harder to reach each day.

Harlem Parcels Are Bought for $940 Million – By John Koblin, The New York Observer

In one of the largest residential portfolio sales in city history, Urban American Management and City Investment Fund have purchased a series of buildings in Harlem and one on Roosevelt Island for $940 million, according to two sources.

The purchase includes nearly 4,000 apartments in a deal that is loaded with implications for proponents of affordable housing and landlords with an eye for high-rise housing.

The apartment buildings sold were formerly part of the Mitchell-Lama program, the 52-year-old state affordable-housing initiative. The portfolio sale is the second-biggest residential one ever in Manhattan, according to the research firm Real Capital Analytics.

With the sale, this portfolio has gone the way of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, the high-rise affordable rentals that sold for $5.4 billion last year to a private landlord looking to drive up rents.

That puts the city in a tough situation. On the one side you have pure capitalism, on the other you have thousands (if not millions) of people running out of housing options.

I’m against housing subsidies of any sort, as a rule. However, having said that, it’s going to be interesting to see how things develop over the coming years, in New York City and in other big cities (for example, Boston) as they face a resident population made up of the rich and the poor, and no one else.

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Updated:  1st Q 2018

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