A variety of government-subsidized programs provide affordable housing so that low income households can afford a decent place to live. Our research examines the availability of affordable housing, evaluates programs that encourage the production of affordable housing, and identifies the effects of subsidized housing on surrounding neighborhoods. Our Subsidized Housing Information Project (SHIP) uses a combination of data sources from public and private agencies to track and map current subsidized housing units across New York City, and evaluate strategies for developing new affordable housing.
In February 2010, the Furman Center launched the Institute for Affordable Housing Policy to meet increasing demand for policy analysis and innovative solutions. The Institute hosts events and publishes policy briefs and working papers on pressing matters related to rental housing policy and housing finance.
Current Research Agenda
In a time of shrinking government budgets and high rent burdens, understanding the impacts of subsidized housing programs is imperative.
Our current research projects include:
- Understanding Opt-Outs From Subsidized Housing Programs
- Utilities And Subsidized Housing: How Does Who Pays The Bills Affect Energy Consumption
- What Is The Profile Of The Residents In Low-Income Tax Credit Buildings?
- Where Do Tenants Move After Opt-Outs
For a list of all the Furman Center’s current research projects, download our Current Research Agenda.
Katherine O’Regan is Associate Professor of Public Policy, and Director of the Public and Nonprofit Management and Analysis Program (PNP) at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. Her research focuses on issues and programs affecting the urban poor and the neighborhoods in which they live, including transportation problems and access to employment, concentrated poverty and social networks, and affordable housing. She is currently working on a large project (with Ingrid Gould Ellen) examining neighborhood transitions over the past few decades, including possible broad causes (changes in federal housing policy, and changes in crime, in particular), and outcomes (including possible displacement, and improvements in neighborhood conditions).
Latest News & Events
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Sandy’s Impact on Seniors
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In the Path of the Storm
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#NYChousing Day 10: Affordable Housing Preservation
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#NYChousing Day 9: 421-A Property Tax Benefit
Investigating the Relationship Between Housing Voucher Use and Crime
This policy brief debunks the long-held myth that the influx of households with vouchers causes crime in a neighborhood to increase. Rather, the report finds that housing voucher recipients tend to move into neighborhoods with high existing levels of crime. These findings should reassure communities worried about entry of voucher holders, but also raise questions about whether the Housing Choice Voucher program is reaching its stated goal of helping recipients reach “better” neighborhoods.
Furman Center and Moelis Institute for Affordable Housing Policy. March 2013.
Sandy’s Effects on Housing in New York City
Four months after Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers continue to pick up the pieces and rebuild. This report summarizes newly available information about the characteristics of properties in the area in New York City flooded by Sandy’s storm surge, as well as demographic characteristics of households that have registered to receive assistance from FEMA. Released in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, who provided a similar analysis on Long Island and New Jersey, the reports find that low-income renters were disproportionately impacted by Sandy and will require special assistance to fully recover. In addition to viewing the full report below, the source data is available here.
Becky Koepnick, Max Weselcouch. March 2013.
Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Schools?
This study describes the elementary schools closest to families receiving four different forms of housing assistance, and finds that families in Project-based Section 8 developments and Public Housing and recipients of Housing Choice Vouchers tend to live near schools with lower test scores than the schools near the typical poor household. Only families in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing have access to schools that are slightly better than the schools available to other poor families. The report also finds that, despite the flexibility provided by vouchers, families with Housing Choice Vouchers, on average, live near lower performing schools than families in Project-based Section 8 or LIHTC developments. The report provides results for the 100 largest metropolitan areas, which show that assisted households tend to live near relatively higher performing schools in metropolitan areas with certain characteristics, including smaller size and less racial segregation. The analysis relies on a variety of different large data sources that have been brought together for the first time, including a national file of subsidized housing tenants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD’s publicly available LIHTC dataset, and data from the U.S. Department of Education on proficiency rates in math and English and additional school characteristics. In addition to the report below, the complete findings may be found in Appendix A (state-by-state tables), Appendix B (metropolitan area tables), Appendix C (national distributions of family units by school performance), and Appendix D (top 100 MSAs – percentile rankings for each housing program).
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Keren Mertens Horn. November 2012.
What Can We Learn about the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program by Looking at the Tenants?
This policy brief examines LIHTC tenant income to assess the extent to which the program’s target demographic is served. The brief finds that forty percent of LIHTC units house extremely low-income (ELI) households. In addition, the report finds that of ELI households living in LIHTC units, more than 70 percent receive some form of rental assistance, which suggests that additional subsidies are crucial to the functionality of the program. In terms of rent burden, LIHTC tenants, particularly those without rental assistance, have higher rent burdens than HUD tenants. Since it was created in 1986, the LIHTC program has created over 2.2 million units of affordable housing and today it is the largest affordable housing program in the U.S. This study is the first rigorous, national analysis of the incomes of LIHTC tenants.
The Moelis Institute for Affordable Housing Policy . October 2012.