On a thread about the Jewish Hospital apartments going market rate @ehgee
There are alternate models for housing production and allocation, some of which do essentially keep greed at bay (or at least reduce its effects on ordinary people):
Of course, getting to any of those models is pretty difficult starting from zero, especially when there is little-to-no open land within a remotely sane commute of Manhattan.
The most practical would be an extension of rent stabilization, which would be much more feasible in a city with high rents (generally directly corresponding to commute time to Manhattan) and growing population than in a city with declining rents or a city rapidly transitioning from low-to-high rents. The major issue would be ensuring that enough housing is created to allow further population growth, though Vienna-style affordable housing projects could become more economically feasible if a cap on rental profits drove down land prices.
Tokyo-style market-driven hyperdensity would also be economically possible, though laws authorizing it seem unlikely to come from the political process— I could see it possibly resulting from a court decision saying that current zoning laws, which drive enormous price increases in many districts, have the practical effect of being exclusionary of protected groups.
Yes, this usually referred to as "disparate impact". There have been some court decisions about whether one needs to prove intent, or whether merely proving disparate impact is enough.
The thing about zoning is that it's whole purpose is to encourage type of uses, and (to a degree...) municipalities are allowed to pursue uses that serve their interests.
So, they can:
- adjust density
- adjust use (commercial, industry, residential, etc)
And given how income, wealth and land are distributed, it is reasonable to expect that groups are going to win/gain and lose.
...you are right, it is often those who already have that gain, and those that have less tend to lose.
In a country where "having" is closely correlated to race and other protected characteristics, such power is really apparent.