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Does rent stabilization = golden handcuffs?

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | April 28, 2015 - 11:59AM

Snagging a rent stabilized or rent controlled apartment is like winning the NYC real estate lottery. As such, rent-regulated tenants usually garner more jealousy than sympathy from their fellow New Yorkers. But one writer over on Thrillist describes a real downside of being a middle class person in a stabilized apartment — a scenario she describes as "golden handcuffs."

Though the writer, Daisy Barringer, is based in San Francisco, her plight sounds pretty familiar to us New Yorkers:

"Giving up my rent-controlled apartment would mean giving up the only thing that allows me to even be able to (barely) afford to live in San Francisco in 2015. That’s right: I can either leave San Francisco permanently. Or I can stay until I die. There isn’t an in between. At least not in this housing market. ... [San Francisco has] has given me an ultimatum: stay together or break up for good. "

Sound familiar?

Barringer says she wishes for a day when the city, which is being filled up with tech millionaires, "will regain some of its more attractive, bohemian qualities. That it will realize it’s meant to be a playground for all people, not just the rich ones." (Sounds familiar.)

In fact, one NYC resident who wrote for us about her life as a 20 percenter in an 80/20 building explained how affordable housing here in the Big Apple isn't without its downsides — she delayed her college graduation and joined the workforce late just to hold onto her affordable housing, and she often feels like a second-class citizen amongst her far more well-off neighbors.


Be glad you live in NYC, and not San Francisco, where even rent-controlled apartments can quadruple in price

New Yorkers' biggest misconceptions about rent stabilization

Applying for affordable housing? How to get it right

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