Why Are We Pushing Housing Policies That Harm Affordability and Preservation? A Lecture and Discussion with Andrew Berman

Mar 9
6:00 pm
8:00 pm
Get tickets

At every level of city and state government, moves are afoot to vastly increase the amount of market rate housing production in our city, based upon the premise that doing so will make housing more accessible for everyone, and address our city’s housing affordability crisis. So why is it that cities and states that have done this have seen housing prices go up rather than down? And why is there so little evidence that removing constraints to housing production helps anyone except developers?

Join Village Preservation Executive Director Andrew Berman as he shares our latest research on this subject from across the country, as City Hall and Albany debate plans to swing open the floodgates to massive housing developments throughout our neighborhoods. We’ll look at evidence from across the city, region, and nation showing how this can actually do more harm than good, especially in New York City, where it encourages displacement and destruction of good existing affordable housing, as well as historic buildings and neighborhoods. We’ll also look at how the city’s “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” program, which is often attached to these measures and requires 25-30% of units in certain new housing developments be set aside for what some call “affordable” housing, actually makes neighborhoods richer and more expensive, and often less diverse — whether it’s lower income communities of color, or more well off predominantly white neighborhoods, and everything in between. Discussion and Q & A will follow, including looking at ways of truly addressing affordability needs without sacrificing preservation or displacing long term residents and destroying existing affordable housing.

Andrew Berman has been Executive Director of Village Preservation since 2002. During that time VP has secured landmark designation for over 1,250 buildings and zoning protections for nearly one hundred blocks. The organization has also spearheaded trailblazing preservation efforts geared towards elevating and protecting underrepresented and marginalized histories and historic sites, including African American, LGBTQ+, women’s, Hispanic/Latinx, and radical and progressive political, social, artistic and literary movements. Prior to his time at Village Preservation, Andrew worked in New York City and State government, where he focused on issues like housing policy, tenants rights, environmental justice, civil rights, transportation and education. He has also held leadership positions in various local, city, and state organizations dedicated to housing equity and tenant’s rights, as well as advancing progressive social agendas and protecting local communities. He is a lifelong New Yorker born and raised in the Bronx, who grew up in the country’s largest affordable housing development.