The Real Deal New York

Critics push back on REBNY’s landmarking claim

Report shows protected buildings lost rent-regulated units at higher rates than non-protected ones

September 15, 2015 09:15AM

John Banks

John Banks

Advocates look to landmarking to protect the city’s affordable housing stock. The Real Estate Board of New York isn’t buying it, but preservations are pushing back in turn.

A new REBNY report released Monday stated that from 2007 to 2014, buildings in landmarked districts saw 23 percent of their 44,430 rent-stabilized apartments go market-rate, compared to only 5 percent of the 821,250 regulated units in non-landmarked areas.

Greenwich Village, which lost 1,432 rent-stabilized units, and the Upper West Side, which lost 2,730, were the hardest hit neighborhoods proportionally.

“This report refutes the notion that historic districts are a good means of preserving existing affordable housing,” said REBNY President John Banks in a statement.

Preservationists pushed back, however.

“Without landmarking, many of these areas would have seen the wholesale demolition of buildings, including those with rent-stabilized housing.  It’s clear on its face that many more units of rent-stabilized housing would have been lost in these areas,” wrote Andrew Berman, head of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, in a statement. – Ariel Stulberg