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CoreNet affording housing event at Museum of the City of NY CoreNet event on affordable housing at the Museum of the City of New York/ Photo by Betsy Kim

NEW YORK CITY—Determining New York City’s character, makeup and future depends upon real estate because that’s the physical reality, the stage where the city comes to life as a continually evolving experiment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and others have criticized the city’s lack of affordable housing as a growing crisis, referencing Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. But it’s not about REBNY versus tenant advocates, said Matthew Gross, the managing director at Urban Builders Collaborative and executive officer at Lettire Construction Corporation. He spoke on the panel organized by CoreNET at the Museum of the City of New York in East Harlem.

New York City can have a booming economy, which also benefits from the city’s cultural and economic diversity.

Henry Flores Henry Flores, global real estate manager at WarnerMedia and vice chair of CB 11 housing committee/ Photo by Betsy Kim

However the waitlist for affordable housing is growing exponentially while subsidies that support such housing are set to expire, said panel moderator, Henry Flores, global real estate manager at WarnerMedia, and vice chair of community board 11 which covers East Harlem. Both he and moderator Xavier Santiago, vice chair of CB 11, described how their families moved to New York, worked hard, saved money and lived in affordable housing.

“Affordable housing is crucial to the success of a community, and bridging the gap of the socio-economic divide,” said Santiago. “However, in this neighborhood and others in New York we face a dearth of affordable housing and the rungs are being pulled out from the ladder.”

Betsy Kim

Betsy Kim is the bureau chief, East Coast, and New York City reporter for Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. As a lawyer and journalist, Betsy has worked as the director of editorial and content for LexisNexis Lawyers.com, a TV/multi-media journalist for NBC and CBS affiliated TV stations in the Midwest, and an associate producer at Court TV.

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