New York’s Mayoral Rivals Vow Cheap Housing Plus More Migrants

In this June 17, 2019 file photo, a protester holds a sign as members of the state Assembly speak in favor of legislation of the Green Light Bill, granting undocumented immigrant driver's licenses during a rally at the state Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. The bill passed making New York the …
AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

New York City politicians are promising billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to push down housing costs they are pushing up by supporting illegal migration into the city.

“New York Has a Housing Crisis,” said the June 13 headline in the New York Times, above an article describing how pro-migration mayoral candidates are trying to reduce housing costs:

Mr. [Andrew] Yang and Mr. [Shaun] Donovan said they would spend billions of dollars a year to build or preserve 30,000 [housing] units meant for families in a range of incomes.

For many candidates, investing in the housing authority, or NYCHA, is crucial to helping the poorest New Yorkers. Ms. [Maya] Wiley and Mr. Donovan said they would borrow and spend $2 billion a year in city money to improve public housing; Mr. [Raymond] McGuire and Mr. [Scott] Stringer said they would borrow and spend up to $1.5 billion.

“Immigration drives up housing prices,” responded Steven A. Camarota, the research director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “There’s no question that landlords have a vested interest in driving up demand [by boosting migration], and then seeking subsidies to make everything affordable, meaning subsidies from taxpayers,” he said.

New York City has a population of roughly 8.4 million people, of whom at least one million are illegal immigrants. New York state has a population of 4.4 million legal or illegal migrants.

Overall, legal and illegal immigrants comprise more than 40 percent of the city’s working population — and a much larger share of the lower-wage service employees who support the city’s elite banking and investment sectors.

The state and city are already spending heavily to keep their population of wage-cutting, rent-raising migrants. In April, the state’s budget included $2.1 billion in subsidies for roughly 187,000 illegal migrants, plus $2.3 billion in federal funds for American renters who have not been able to pay their migration-inflated rents.

“The big winners in this [migration and subsidy] process are the owners of apartments and housing for immigrants,” Camarota said. “They get an increased demand [from migrants], and they get increased subsidies [from the city].”

“But if you’re a low-income American … it completely undermines what you’re striving for,” he said.  “If the government makes [renting] ten percent more affordable, and if immigration drives prices up percent, you’re no better off — if you’re a renter.”

Those housing problems also make it harder for urban Americans to have children, he said.

Nationally, U.S. real estate is worth roughly $32.6 trillion, Real Estate Weekly reported July 2o20. The valuation is spiked by the presence of 45 million legal immigrants and illegal migrants — especially in the Democrat-run coastal cities favored by migrants and investors.

The article added:

New York has the most valuable real estate in the U.S. at $2.8 trillion — slightly more than the entire GDP of the United Kingdom for 2019. In fact, this is greater than the GDP of all but just five countries — India, Germany, Japan, China and the United States. The value of New York is comparable to the combined market value of tech giants Apple and Microsoft.

A sudden migration can boost housing prices by eight percent for every 1 percent increase in a city’s population, says an October 2020 academic paper. A New Zealand bank also predicted a 1:8 price spike from migration.

Nationwide, the rise in real-estate value creates much wealth in the high-migration coastal cities, according to the data in the Real Estate Weekly article:

The Federal Reserve values total residential real estate owned by households at $32.9 trillion. We found that the top 10 cities account for nearly 36% of that value. The top 50 add up to about 66% (or two-thirds) of the total …  The least valuable metro was Battle Creek, Mich., with real estate valued at $989 million.

This link between migration and real estate values boosts the big cities in Democratic-run coastal states by draining investment, wages, wealth, and young Americans from the heartland states. The losers include Sen. Shelley Capito’s West Virginia and also many of the smaller cities and towns in prosperous states.

Many additional factors are buffeting real-estate prices in New York. For example, the coronavirus disaster pushed people out of the city and allowed rents to drop in well-off districts. Similarly, the Internet allows people to work from distant homes, so reducing the value of downtown office and retail property.

City officials do little to recruit Americans to migrate from inside the United States, such as Ohio, Kentucky, or Sen. Joe Manchin‘s West Virginia. Instead of competing for young Americans educated in other states, they prefer to extract legal — and illegal — migrants from poor countries, such as Mexico or Guatemala. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported in September 2020:

“I am worried that declining rates of international immigration will hurt not only future economic growth in New York City but the stability of New York City’s tax base,” said Michael Hendrix, director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.

“The main driver of both new business formation and population growth in New York has historically been international immigration,” says a September 2020 Axios.com article. “So long as [international] immigration remains suppressed, New York will suffer,” says the article, which was titled “The math of New York City’s recovery.”

The city’s leaders welcome foreign migrants because most are compliant and diligent workers, in part because even poverty in New York is a step up from their homelands. Their acceptance of poverty helps to push down local wages. The foreign migrants also push up rents as they crowd themselves into small apartments, basements, and illegally subdivided rooms near their service-sector jobs.

In April 2020, Joseph Salvo, New York City’s chief demographer, told the New York Times why the city needs new bodies to replace the legal and illegal migrants who exited the city during the coronavirus crash:

In the pandemic, [migrants] are trying to make a living and coming home and living in close proximity to other people. And they work the cash-only jobs, service jobs, services in buildings, home health aides, that we start to lose. Our growth is going to depend on giving support to these immigrants, many of whom suffered and lost family members.

What we pray will happen is that the city will come back with a ferocity we have never seen in food, beverage, entertainment and hotels. All of that is going to come back. And hopefully the immigrant population will prosper because of that. That’s the key.

The resulting migration-created poverty and squalor have been repeatedly spotlighted — and largely covered up by pro-migrant Democrats. A May 26 report by the New York Times noted:

The pandemic has drastically deepened debt for New York’s low-income renters, people who were teetering even before the outbreak and who have been hanging on thanks to an eviction moratorium that is set to expire this summer, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York University Furman Center.

For Ana Galvez, 38, a longtime resident of a six-story walk-up in the Melrose section of the Bronx, last year was the first time in a decade that she has been unable to catch up on rent payments.

Ms. Galvez lost her job in the kitchen of a Brooklyn restaurant in February 2020, at the start of the pandemic. She supports two daughters, a 9-year-old in New York and a 19-year-old in Mexico, who she hasn’t seen since leaving the country 15 years ago.

Galvez owes up to $25,000, does not speak English, and relies on foodbanks plus the cash she earns by selling food from a shopping cart, according to the New York Times.

The squalor and homelessness are especially obvious in Los Angeles, and increasingly, among the native-born Americans in the sprawling city who have been pushed out of jobs and careers by economic migrants from impoverished countries.

“It’s clear that cities like New York and San Francisco struggle to have housing for middle and lower-income people, and our immigration policies are making that situation worse,” Camarota said.

 

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