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

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