Sidney R. New York

Affordable Housing

Many people face the fear of not being able to pay next month's rent or getting evicted from their households everyday and if there were more rent controlled houses then there would be less homelessness our country.

Dear Future Mr or Ms President,

Affordable housing is a big issue in today’s society, and one, in my opinion that gets forgotten about with all the other issues going on in the world. Tons of people everyday have to face the fear of getting evicted from their rent controlled homes. Growing up in New York City I witness homeless people on the street everyday, and I know that if there were a few more subsidized apartments in NYC then we’d walk past a few less homeless people everyday.

In New York City there are 424,949 affordable apartment households available with a demand for 979,142 affordable households, that’s more than twice as what is provided . And these necessary numbers just keep growing, with less people moving out of New York City for retirement and child care and more people moving to our city the population and needs for housing is only growing. Only 3% of New York City apartments are vacant. Mayor of New York City, Bill De Blasio has promised to create 200,000 subsidized apartments and yes, that’s a good chunk of homes… but it’s not enough.

In an NPR interview with Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Glen says that living in a 4 person household making $100,000 in NYC can be very tricky, and that seems like a good chunk of money these people are teachers and nurses, the “lifeblood of New York City” .

This is an issue to me and others like me because the truth is low income the life and blood of New York City. What would we do without nurses, teachers, and firemen? A low income family cannot spend $7,395 for a two bedroom, non doorman apartment . So affordable housing is necessary for low income families to get their basic needs in an affordable way and the people who need these basic needs for a low cost are people we rely on very much. We probably all know someone who relies on rent controlled homes; someone who would be homeless without the roof over their head. And that person… that person is the lucky one, who HAS a place to go home too. And that person may not be me but I know quite a few people who live in subsidized apartments. We have all seen a cold homeless people who don’t know where to spend the night… and I know that I walk by them, annoyed, because they are blocking the sidewalk.

And affordable housing isn’t just a problem in New York City, even though the population here is larger and growing faster than somewhere else. Throughout the country, 19 million low-income families struggle to find a place to call home and to hold down their houses. Antoinette Okunola, who lives in Baltimore was homeless for 15 months before finally finding an affordable home. Thirty One out of a hundred low income families cannot find a affordable households for their families, everyone should have a roof over their heads and it really shouldn’t be that hard to come by.

This is an issue that needs to be solved no matter who you are or how you slice it. I propose that a certain percentage of every apartment building or housing complex be reserved for affordable houses… and that it is mandatory. This means that the more buildings being made, the more affordable houses being made. They both grow at the same time! This is how I think the issue of affordable housing can be solved and I do hope, Mr. or Ms. President that you will try to take some next steps to solving the issue with the lack of affordable housing throughout our country.


Sidney Ritter  

NYC Lab Middle School

NYC Lab Middle School

Lab students have been painfully subjected to three debates where they searched for policy talk. Four and a half hours later.. Now, our students will have the chance to speak about an issue of importance and possibly make a recommendation for improvement.

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