Israel Should Look at New York City’s Housing Strategy

The honourable Jerilyn Perine, former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development for Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, and is now Executive Director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, highlights in TheJerusalemPost the strength of NYC’s housing strategy: Affordable housing by public private partnerships and through cooperation with community organisations:

„[…] NYC rightly understood that city-owned properties’ real value was in returning them to the housing market in order to benefit low, moderate, and middle income households and rebuild entire neighborhoods.

The city’s housing leaders used flexible land disposition strategies and public financing to ensure affordability to a wide range of income groups and tenure types within communities. The housing created is privately developed and owned by both for-profit and not-for-profit companies, and its underwriting was designed to ensure that a variety of households could either rent or purchase. Not only was affordable housing created, but an entire sector of builders, managers and financers became committed to the improvement of local areas.[…]“.

This way could be a solution for Israel’s current housing crisis:

„[…] In crafting new affordable housing strategies, Israel today has many advantages NYC did not have.

Israel’s government owns over 90% of the country’s land. New York City had to battle crime and failing communities to attract families back to neighborhoods that seemed hopeless. Israel’s middle-class families are protesting because they want to remain in their communities; they need little to entice them to stay. And Israel’s innovative, entrepreneurial financial sector can certainly be counted on to respond to government incentives and policies.

An essential ingredient is government leadership in creating the public-financing tools for an Israeli-based solution. For rental housing, such financing mechanisms could include direct subsidies like below-market second mortgages to attract private bank financing and keep rents affordable. For home ownership, mortgage guarantees and concessionary construction and mortgage financing will promote greater flexibility in bank lending while maintaining sound underwriting practices.[…]“.

Follow this link for the full article in TheJerusalemPost…

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