Can New York Be Affordable Again?

In this lead Sunday editorial, the New York Times includes "an army of Legal Aid lawyers" among factors crucial to the success of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to reclaim New York City as an affordable place for middle- and working-class families.

Editorial (New York)

Editorial Board of New York Times
New York Times (NYT)
February 8, 2015
Read the full editorial


The New York of the 1950s and early ’60s, for all its grime and problems, was far more hospitable than today’s city to working-class and middle-class families, full of stable and affordable neighborhoods where they could live and strive.

That disappearing New York seemed to lie at the core of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City speech on Tuesday. He said reclaiming it through affordable housing would be his main mission for 2015, the start of an all-out effort and a building boom on a scale unseen in generations.

The success of the plan, laid out by the administration in a 116-page book of policy prescriptions, will depend on several factors. One is toughness: mandatory inclusionary zoning, stronger rent laws, an army of Legal Aid lawyers, stricter code enforcement against landlords who let properties decay.