New York City faces rising housing costs that are destroying its working and middle class neighborhoods year-by-year. At the same time, artificially soaring housing prices create a massive opportunity, since assessing inclusionary zoning fees on the purchase of new property in lower Manhattan can fund affordable housing for millions of current and new low-income and working class families in New York City.
Massive residential construction could drive a large range of employment in the City, including short-term construction jobs, support services and jobs induced by the spending of all those involved in its construction, as well as permanent jobs created to provide property services for the new residents and induced locally by the new residents’ spending. Lower housing costs will also encourage a broader range of industries and businesses to locate in the City, knowing their potential workforce could actually afford to live there.
Superstorm Sandy was just a warning of escalating dangers as the country faces increasing risk of destructive climate events. Because New York City residents use 70% less energy per capita than the national average, moving population into the City can play a critical role in stemming the danger of climate change.
On top of the billions in potential revenue from inclusionary zoning fees, expanding residential construction will vastly expand the long-term revenue base of the City for all other day-to-day social needs. This includes the shorter-term fiscal boost from increased taxes paid by workers constructing the building, as well as the range of City income, sales and property taxes paid by the new residents and the workers maintaining the buildings and providing services to new residents.
MORENYC has the potential to have a high political impact across the issues of importance to progressives, while increasing the political strength of progressives as a political force as well. Expanding the residential population of New York City will help reverse that flow and expand the number of progressive legislators in its state and the federal government. And New York City could have a global impact on urban development worldwide.