If there’s one thing everyone in Brooklyn can seem to agree on, it’s that it’s expensive to live here. How to solve that issue is where things start getting kind of hairy, with the camps divided between building more apartments to increase supply to let the market take care of the rest and stronger government action to spur the creation of permanently affordable housing. Going by how the rest of the country is looking next year, it appears the “build shit and let God sort it out” crowd is going to win in 2016, because Forbes reports that Brooklyn is going to add over 6,000 units of housing to the borough next year, which is the biggest planned housing increase in the country. Hope you all like the sound of jackhammers.
Forbes put together a chart looking at how many apartment units are set to be added around the country next year, and it turns out that Brooklyn is at the top of the list with a forecast for 6,073 new apartments coming on the market in 2016. The next closest municipality was Atlanta, with a planned addition of 5,606. And while 6,073 sounds like a lot of units on its face, it becomes more incredible when you see on that same chart that Brooklyn added 969 units of housing in all of 2015. While the pace of apartment additions in Brooklyn falls off in 2017, there’s still plans to add 2,001 units of housing that year.
Whether this means your rent will be going down is another story. A previous Brownstoner story from this year noted that there were 22,000 apartments in the pipe between now and 2019, and that was looking at construction taking place almost entirely north of Prospect Park. Even in that story, a real estate expert they talked to seemed doubtful about that many new apartments would lower Brooklyn’s average rent since everything was skewed luxury. Your neighborhood being a giant construction site would be easier to take if it meant your rent would definitely be lower, but as it is, being woken up by the sound of jackhammers like Borough President Eric Adams wished on us last year seems like a pain in the ass if all it’s going to mean is an increase in unaffordable housing resulting in unsafe conditions for both the construction workers and people who move into new buildings. Our advice? Get some ear plugs, or start flexing those 311-calling fingers so they don’t get tired when you complain about jackhammers and pile drivers.