The Market

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.


Related:

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

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.
topics: