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The Limits of Liberal Urbanism and the new opening for change

In The Limits of Liberal Urbanism, 3/28/20 in Jacobin, David Madden and Glyn Robbins take on the slippery term "affordable housing" in New York and London:
In London, affordable housing can cost as much as 80 percent of highly inflated market rates. In New York, affordability is calculated using an unrealistically high regional income figure. In both cases, affordability fails to match up with the actual resources at the disposal of working-class households.
In New York, they note, affordable housing may below-market but is often out of reach of locals, given the unusually high Area Median Income, or AMI, inflated by wealthy suburban counties, and the unwillingness to target units at a low-enough percentage of AMI.

Their solutions:
Local governments could institute an immediate moratorium on selling public land and public assets. They could re-municipalize housing that had been privatized and build new public housing. They could regulate the rents and powers of private landlords in order to protect tenants and communities. They could institute tax policies and land use regulations that end speculation. They could establish and support decommodified forms of property. They could redefine affordability and other urban policy goals so that they actually align with the housing that people need. With the adequate political momentum, all of these things and more are possible. The first step to trying to change things is dropping the commitment to keeping things as they are.
Most of those solutions, as of two months ago, likely would have been seen as unlikely. Today, all bets are off, and new solutions likely will arise.

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