Middle-class New Yorkers: Screwed

A new study confirms that it's only become harder for regular people to live in New York City. The amount of affordable housing available to households earning $32,000 a year dropped by 17% in the past three years.

That means that many firefighters, police officers, bartenders, and home health workers can't afford to live in the city they serve.

Amazingly, there's been some debate about whether this is a good or a bad thing.

On the one hand, there's the fact that rising costs force people into multiple jobs, crowded housing situations, or out of the city altogether.

(There's also that crazy old-fashioned idea that the U.S. depends on a thriving middle class to prevent it from degenerating into a Latin-American style plutocracy. And it's always nice for the middle class to have places to live.)

On the other hand, there are the economists. They say that rents go up because more people want to live in New York, which is more proof of how desirable the city is and how awesomely it's doing.

If it's a simple case of supply and demand, then new construction should help to ease the strain.

"Clearly, one solution to the problem is increasing the housing supply over all," said Shaun Donovan, commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The city issued 32,000 new construction permits last year, a 34-year high.

They need to do this same study every were in America. It's not just the new yorkers getting pushed out of the housing markets.

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