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Reality Check on Urban Renewal

Richard Florida picks up on the Bloomberg piece we discussed yesterday, and argues the burst of the condo bubble in Miami has actually contributed to urban revitalization, instead of halting it (a case very similar to the one we made last week). His point is that the transition from ownership to rental housing can spur a condensed, young, and lively urban environment. From the Bloomberg piece:

“For us, it doesn’t matter whether they rent or buy,” said Miami Mayor Tomás P. Regalado. “The more people, the more business, the more safety, the more progress”

With the homeownership rate in decline across the country, the renaissance of rental housing is likely just beginning.

On the whole, people coming back into the cities, to live near transit and job centers, is a good thing for the environment and economic recovery. But amidst the changes, NHC and the Center for Housing Policy still have the same, singular goal. Whether the “back to the city” dwellers end up in rental or owned homes, the central need for working families will not change: affordability.

If the combined “cost of place,” including housing, transportation, and utilities, continues to swell beyond people’s means – as it is now for renters and owners alike – then workers’ suffering will only continue.

Photo: A mix of affordability and not so much in NYC’s meatpacking district (via

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