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Progress and Poverty, Henry George, 1879
New York City is the harbinger of the future – increased housing density, decreased housing unit square footage, increased monthly rent, and higher qualities of life. However, with 65% of income spent on housing rent, people are leaving. Walter South has identified how housing can be made affordable in perpetuity at no more than 30% of income, with or without pressures from gentrification through a community land trust (CLT). Ownership would be limited equity, guaranteeing lower living expenses at the expense of not being able to cash in on rising property values in the future. Commercial use on the ground floors maximizes the coverage of maintenance costs for lower income residents in a cross-subsidy. Should a tenant leave, the price for the resale is based on the average medium income (AMI) at that future time, and the tenant gets back what she/he invested at the start of occupancy. Any increase goes to the building for long-term capital improvements.