“While Lower Manhattan is desperately in need of affordable housing,” writes Yuh-Line Niou in an official statement of her re-election campaign for New York State Assembly, “we cannot pit the need for housing against the need for green space, especially when so many good alternatives are available. . . .”
Assemblywoman Niou (D-Lower Manhattan) is making the case against a housing project in her district. What she is really trying to do is save the Elizabeth Street Garden, a one-acre sculpture garden.
I have nothing against sculptures or gardens, but it seems like a strange sort of public space to exist in a high-demand real estate locale like Manhattan.
But you know what is stranger?
Ms. Niou also supports the notion that “housing is a right.”
Christian Britschgi, of Reason, notes her pickle, drawing our attention to the similar predicament of a socialist city councilwoman on the other side of the continent, in Seattle. “Now, one can reasonably argue that open space is a precious commodity in a city, one that needs to be balanced against the need for shelter,” Britschgi writes. “But it’s hard to argue that while also asserting that housing is also a right that needs to be guaranteed by the government.”
Niou insists that “both need to be protected and expanded,” and somehow thinks the “best way to achieve this is by engaging the community from the start so decisions are made with a full knowledge of community sentiment and impact.”
Not mentioned? Rent control.
It is almost as if pols have no idea that goals they promote might be exacerbated by existing policies they dare not criticize.
Or even bring up.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.