Photo credit: Steven Wei

Housing crisis for renters, first-time home buyers

2 mins read

In New York, businesses shutter and longtime residents must make the painful decision of packing up and leaving, or staying and starving. That is the reality for the real estate market in the large metropolis, but it is not only major city experiencing a housing crisis as real estate surges.

The 2008 economic crash established a trend of young career-minded people to choose renting as a better financial choice; however, the rent, simply put by a former New York mayoral candidate, Jimmy McMillian, “is too damn high.”

Another shift in real estate markets show that the construction of multifamily units began to decline, while permits for building them increase.

An additional indicator of the slowing construction is a sluggish economy where rents have also peaked, but the rising costs over the years displaced so many people; especially in cities that the transition created gaps in residential areas.

Renters seem to be joined by first-time home buyers in affording real estate. A boom in apartments and condos over the past 10 years to cater to young adults opting to rent rather than purchase has leveled, as rising rents force people to move back with parents; or the desire to start a family slowly push older millennials to purchase a single-family home. 

As well, reports show that more millennials receive loans from their parents to purchase; but for most of that demographic they are on their own; especially when many baby boomers were affected by the economy added to the increasing costs of aging.


Another face of the housing crisis is gentrification. The demolition implosion of Georgia Dome last week almost finalizes a contentious redevelopment plan along the Atlanta Beltline that raised a $1.5 billion state-of-the-art stadium, but displaced many poor, black residents. Atlanta is ground zero for gentrification as it experienced two large waves — the first for the 1996 Olympics — and the second in building an impressive sports complex in the heart of a historic, black working class.

Since early 2000s, Atlantans have been embroiled in conversations and battles of what was called “runaway gentrification” in which massive redevelopment led to longtime residents of areas like Old Fourth Ward and Vine City to be priced out of homes.

A tale of two Baltimores occurs while the city grapples with abandoned housing and gross issues of poverty, real estate developers invest in expanding the city’s luxury space by creating high-end hotels and high rises

The December 12th Movement says gentrification is ethnic cleansing in Brooklyn this weekend. Longtime residents left in the rapidly changing borough, now fight for economic strategy and tactics to remain and develop with the changing city.

Seattle is an epic housing crisis becomes almost as bad as San Francisco

In Seattle an epic housing crisis becomes almost as bad as San Francisco. The city grapples with housing affordability and diversified home options due to its tech boom bringing in high-earning workers who drove up the cost of living and housing.

Downtown Seattle. Photo Credit: Claudel Rheault

Record homelessness displaces longtime residents and working class, along with developments of one bedroom apartments and condos that attract singles and couples, but thwarts family growth create serious challenges for the city’s leadership.


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