Things of Your Day


That unused space doesn’t have sufficient infrastructure to support a large population. The ones like that which were recently built up had massive investments in their electricity, water, and sewer infrastructure.

We can’t just build apartments on the empty land inside NYC. Most of it’s empty for a reason.

And, even though it’s empty, it’s still worth billions.

As for vacant apartments, there aren’t normal vacant apartments. LIC is tapped out. They’re building more as fast as they can. The truly empty ones are mostly individual garbage-tier possibly dangerous walk-ups scattered throughout the city, and multi-million-dollar investment condos that will never have anyone live in them.

We’d be better off buying land upstate, making a housing development, and putting a Metro North station in the middle of it.

To be fair, I’d love to ban those investment condos.



So? Who said you had to rent it? Eminent domain that shit. Use governmental powers for good. When it comes to helping out people who don’t even have a place to sleep, I don’t give a damn that it would cost a lot of money, even at the garbo prices that people get for Eminent domain acquired properties. I don’t give a damn if it costs even more money, at the eminent domain prices that rich white people get. A society, and a community, is judged by how it treats it’s least fortunate.

Eminent Domain, problem solved. But even if you don’t, the city of New York owns something like 200 vacant lots around the city. Too expensive to take housing away from the rich folk who own that housing that could be put to use? Then use that money to build some shit on that land they’ve got sitting around. The problem will exist still in the short term, but think of all the jobs they’d be creating, all the money from those jobs in tax revenue down the line that would flow…right back into government coffers.

It’s true, even in New York, it’s hard to rely on the government to do their fucking job, like maintaining and upgrading infrastructure.


You sound like me.


I know, it’s intentional. Not an imitation, so much as trying to capture your voice in a non-mocking way, because it felt like a very “you” sort of thing. I’m surprised I’m the one sounding like you. rather than, y’know, you sounding like you. Or us both sounding like you, I guess.

That said, I have occasionally noticed touches of your voice when I’m discussing things with people like this. What can I say, you’re an intelligent person I respect, and we’ve known each other a long time now, it’s inevitable to get a little cross-fade. You’re not the only person, either. But that’s not unusual, in a general sense - we’re all just a core of ourselves, surrounded by a structure composed of little bits of everyone we know.


We’re all basically arguing for the same thing. This is why I called it red meat.


NYC is tricky but far from impossible to figure out. Require all new properties to have a certain percentage, say 15% to be nice, be dedicated to low income house and follow any rules necessary to accommodate Section 8 Housing. For already built properties, required they allocate 10%, being nice again, of their existing apartments to low income housing, focusing on the properties owned by the wealthiest individuals or companies first. Outlaw services like Airbnb (I know it is effectively happening but tied up in order) or tax that practice heavily to pay for initiatives to helping with housing. If any apartment is left vacant for more than 6 months then it is automatically enrolled into low income housing and can only be removed from it once a person or people in need of low income housing have lived there and the person or people living there are above a certain income threshold for a full year or voluntarily leave, say $150k annually for an individual and $250k annually for a family of no more than 4.

I’m much slower than Churba. Blarg


Unfair advantage, I’m in a job where I essentially write all day, and I need to write quick or I don’t get paid. Don’t worry, man, you caught stuff that I didn’t catch, like Airbnb taking up apartments with what amounts to quasi-legal hotels, and an actual coherent plan beyond firebrand-ish stating of “Use what you got, and take what you need beyond that.”


So the so-called “affordable” units that large buildings agree to are not actually literally affordable by people of normal means. They’re just more affordable than the insane luxury apartments.


True. Affordable, in this instance at least, should have a very specific definition of either being fully covered by Section 8 or being no more than 30% of a residents income as long as they make enough to survive with that much removed, say at least $50k for an individual and $100k for a family. If the resident(s) fail to make that minimum then rent should be capped at 10% of their income.


Also, these are my attempts to be nice. If I was to really push it I’d have the same opinion of housing as I do for medical services: they should be required to be non-profits with heavily regulated prices. (Meant to edit that in and wasn’t paying attention. Whoops :grimacing:)


Eh, depends on the reason for the vacancy, but I’m probably being pedantic. If it’s vacant for that time because it’s going through significant renovation, it should be okay (though the devil is in the details). If you’re using the renovation excuse for why an apartment is vacant, there should probably be a requirement that the renovation plans be reviewed by a housing board and that the apartment itself be inspected over the course of the renovation to make sure that you’re not using “renovation” as an excuse to cheat the system.

That said, 6 months is a very, very long time to renovate an apartment unless there is some seriously obsolete or shoddy workmanship that requires a total gut job to bring it up to code. Typical apartment renovation work for routine wear and tear probably should only need one or two months, tops.


Affordable housing in LIC, last time I saw a lottery for it, had ~50,000 people apply for ~100 apartments. That’s the demand.

“Affordable” meant ~$2k/mo rent, and you had a cap on how much income you can have to move in. Something like $70k

It was insane.


I’d say all Manhattan and riverfront-adjacent residential property in New York should be owned by the city.


NYC’s issue is more problematic than the one here in Portland, OR. In our case, we have both local and state level politicians on our side. There are definitely other roadblocks but our statewide politicians aren’t constantly trying to thwart us at least.


I mean, look at the top ten cities in terms of rent expensiveness:

  1. San Francisco

  2. New York

  3. San Jose

  4. Boston

  5. Los Angeles

  6. Washington D.C.

  7. Oakland

  8. Seattle

  9. San Diego

  10. Miami

They pretty much all have the same core issues:

  1. Some sense of history
  2. Rich people derive some amount of prestige from living there
  3. Constrained by other cities and oceans.
  4. Have high-profile or high-paying jobs.


Our population density and growth rate is utterly ridiculous.


So, what you’re saying is get rid of the rich. Hmm, may can help with hunger issues too. I have A Modest Proposal.



World Beard Championships are coming to Belgium in May.