The Real Deal New York

Fancy being a developer? Take a crack at a virtual rental

“Inside the Rent” looks to educate New Yorkers about the challenges of putting up a new building

June 05, 2015 01:33PM

Inside the Rent (Image via Curbed)

Inside the Rent (Image via Curbed)

New Yorkers with a penchant for real estate and a nostalgia for SimCity can get excited about a new game.

The Citizens Housing & Planning Council launched Inside the Rent, a game that hopes to educate its players about the challenges and pitfalls of developing an apartment building in the city. The game aims to teach its users the pitfalls of developing a rental building and is aimed toward politicians.

You start by selecting a neighborhood. Players can choose among 14 different neighborhoods, including the hip Bed-Stuy to the up-and-coming Long Island City and the less-developed Morrisania, according to Curbed.

The game won’t be easy. If, after picking amenities, rents and whether or not you will pay union-level wages to workers, the cost exceed the rent roll, players are asked to choose to raise rents or apply for government subsidies.

While the game is a simplified version of real life, it’s “within the realm of possibility,” according to Sarah Watson and Daniel Parcerisas from the Citizens Housing & Planning Council, Curbed reported.

“Educating people is the most value you can add to public housing policy,” Watson said. [Curbed] — Claire Moses