To longtime actors in city housing policy, the bleak trends described in “Making the Rent” may not seem like news. “The interesting thing,” says Harold Shultz, a senior fellow at the Citizens Housing and Planning Commission and former special counsel at the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, “is that the quality of the housing has substantially improved … so people are getting more for their money.” According to the city’s Housing Vacancy Survey, renters pointed to a number of improvements in building conditions between 2002 and 2005.