Real Estate: Desperate All Over

When it comes to housing, the nation's largest and wealthiest city lives in an Alice in Wonderland world. Mostly since World War II, federal, state and city governments have underwritten some $8 billion worth of housing construction in New York City — enough to accommodate the entire population of, for example, Baltimore or Cleveland. Yet at the same time, New York's housing scarcity has not only persisted but worsened. In the hard marketplace of supply and demand, that means soaring rents.

Tenants by the thousands are fuming at raises in their rents as...

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