Class War on Affordable Housing


Will it come to this? What’s a non-billionaire to do?

“Most opponents would prefer the people who mow their lawns, cook their food and baby-sit their children live elsewhere,” East Hampton Housing Authority director Catherine Casey, who is behind the $18 million housing proposal, told the New York Post. “It’s not that they don’t want Latinos, it’s that they don’t want poor people.”

Gotta love that quote, featured in The Real Deal and sourced to an earlier New York Post story. This one is too good to not lead with.

I’m glad that the affordable house crisis continues to come to light, even if it’s controversial. Because really, what about the rest of us? Only in the Hamptons is the bottom of the real estate market set at $1 million and quality of life for working class renters is less attractive than it is in the city. For years it’s been heading this way but now it’s nearly impossible for a professional person making less than $100,000 to live in a decent place. Most everywhere else in the world, $100,000 is nothing to sneeze at. But here, well it gets you a pretty crummy apartment or couple of rooms in (usually in someone’s house, and frequently not up to code) for $2,000 a month. If you’re lucky enough to find someplace that cheap. And with a landlord that doesn’t want to kick you out during the summer months.

Here’s some additional recent coverage on the controversial subject, from CBS and from the New York Post. This story is picking up so much steam, it’s getting talked about in media I haven’t even heard of before now. Kudos to Curbed, who was there in the beginning, and for getting this most recent rental story ball rolling.




One thought on “Class War on Affordable Housing

  1. Catherine Casey’s statement is a lie, it’s disingenuous and it’s inappropriate for the the director of a town agency to make. She should be fired for initiating and spreading such propaganda. The gentrification of East Hampton was caused by many years of anti-development policy that culminated in the Comprehensive Plan calling for five acre up zoning of large parcels of land throughout the Town. CPF funds took thousands of acres of developable property off the market. Both were designed to preserve the environment, our agricultural vistas and open space. We all supported it then, including myself and I still support it. Everyone I know still supports these policies. The unintended consequence is simply supply and demand causing property values to skyrocket. The Town Planning Board, Planning Department and Suffolk County Health Department have always been against high density housing when proposed by private developers. Now the Town seeks to be the developer of high density housing because it thinks it has the solution. Wrong! Government has the wrong solution. Government’s solution provides no upward mobility and provides no pathway for home ownership. Even affordable homes on Town leased land provides no equity increase for upward mobility. The government wants to keep the poor, remaining poor with no hope of attaining the American dream, to own a home. There are better solutions. Catherine Casey’s solution is dead wrong.

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