As The Post’s Yoav Gonen reported, 10 working-class families have been selected to purchase two-family homes in Brooklyn’s gentrifying Bed-Stuy neighborhood for about half their $1 million-plus value. And, to assist pay their mortgages, the owners can rent out their second unit and keep the proceeds.
The seven-figure worth of each property would ordinarily subject the new owners to the state’s 1 percent “mansion tax.” So the City Council did some creative accounting to bring the paper values to under $1 million.
How is this probable? Heavy city subsidies, more than City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) says he’s ever seen before.
The city says the idea is to “create a path to homeownership for working-class New Yorkers.” Huh? Only 10 lucky families get to benefit — out of millions in the city’s working class. And the city sure can’t afford to do the same for all of them.
You might as well pretend the state lottery is an anti-poverty program, since it makes some people rich.
But the same thing is true, on a smaller scale, of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s entire affordable-housing scheme, whose cost has skyrocketed to $82 billion for a promised 300,000 units — with homeless families moved to the top of the list. (Sorry, working-class folks: Take it up with the mayor.)
The only real way to make housing affordable is to find ways to drive down costs — the costs of new construction, for example. Or to invest in faster subways, so that areas with cheaper costs become practical.
Instead, de Blasio keeps cutting lucky breaks for a select few while leaving the vast majority of New Yorkers shut out.