DEAR HARRIETTE: New York is an expensive place to live. There are a lot of homeless people and families that cram into a studio or one-bedroom apartment because they cannot afford anything bigger, my family included. I often see new buildings that are built all throughout the five boroughs, and I think how great it is that they are expanding the housing for New Yorkers. But each time I look into these buildings in urban areas of Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn, the rent for one or two bedrooms is typically over $2,000.
I just think it is crazy how all the new housing being built isn’t viable for the average New Yorker to live in. There are so many people who truly can’t afford to live. Why build these extravagant buildings with amenities when no one is going to be able to afford to live there? And now we have these empty buildings and people living on the street. How and when did this city become this way? -- Lower the Rent
DEAR LOWER THE RENT: Sadly, this is not a new problem. For generations, the rent and general cost of living in New York City has been high and only getting higher. I remember when there was a candidate for mayor whose slogan was “The rent is too damn high.” Many have attempted to bring awareness to this challenge and to get it to change.
I do know that some affordable housing is being built in different pockets of the city. Also, there is a rule for luxury high rises that 20% of each building has to be made available at affordable prices. To get in is another story. It’s a lottery that can take years, if ever, to win.