The Foreclosure Crisis and Community Development: Exploring REO Dynamics in Hard-Hit Neighborhoods
As the foreclosure crisis continues, many communities are faced with a glut of properties that have completed the foreclosure process and are now owned by banks or other mortgage lenders. These properties, referred to as “real estate owned (REO),” often sit vacant for extended periods and, recent studies suggest, depress neighboring property values. In this article we shed new light on the “REO problem” by studying the stock of REO properties at the neighborhood level in three urban areas: New York City, Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Fulton County, Georgia. We find that in each area, the number of REO properties was declining as of the end of 2011, and even in the hardest hit neighborhoods, only a small share of REO properties were purchased and “flipped” by investors. However, in Miami-Dade and Fulton Counties, a small number of neighborhoods continued to have very high concentrations of REO properties, and the REO stock in all three areas was increasingly made up of properties that had been in REO for more than three years.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Josiah Madar, Mary Weselcouch. April 2013.
Quarterly Housing Update 2012: 4th Quarter
Home prices in New York rose in the last quarter of 2012, according to the Furman Center’s New York City 2012 Quarterly Housing Update: 4th Quarter. Increase in prices was seen in all boroughs except Manhattan, with the Bronx showing the largest increase over the previous quarter, with prices up 8.1 percent. The Bronx also led the city with the most building permits authorized and the greatest increase in sales volume.
The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. April 2013.
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 Foreclosures Cause Crime?
Foreclosures affect not only individual homeowners, but also the crime levels of the surrounding neighborhood. This study found that neighborhoods with concentrated foreclosures see an uptick in crime for each foreclosure notice issued. These effects are pronounced in hardest hit neighborhoods; that is, those with concentrated foreclosures. The report suggests that policing and community stabilizing efforts should prioritize areas with concentrated foreclosures, especially those where crime rates are already moderate to high.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Johanna Ruth Lacoe. February 2013.
Locating Landlords: An Analysis of Rental Property Registration Compliance in New York City
In emergency situations like Hurricane Sandy, the city’s system for tracking rental property owners can serve as a crucial resource. However, a new Furman Center report finds that the vast majority of landlords required to register with the city fail to do so. Only 23 percent of rental properties are registered with the city, and only 61 percent of NYC’s renters live in buildings with current registrations. The report outlines strategies for boosting rental registration to help make the registration ordinance a fully effective resource, including greater outreach and stronger penalties.
Ben Gross, Max Weselcouch, Jessica Yager. January 2013.
Transferable Development Rights Programs: ‘Post’ Zoning?
Transferable Development Rights (TDR) programs allow property owners to sell unused development capacity at their property and transfer it to another site, where it is typically used to increase the permitted size of a development. In recent years, New York City has enacted programs that use TDRs in increasingly sophisticated ways. These uses share three common attributes: an increased focus on directing the location and density at sites that receive development rights; the use of TDRs as an integral component of more comprehensive rezoning initiatives; and the creation of regulatory incentives that strengthen the market for TDRs. In this essay, we conclude that TDRs in New York can no longer be understood just as a creative mechanism to soften the effect of rigid zoning restrictions, but should also be recognized as a tool land use decision makers increasingly use in place of, or in tandem with, upzonings, bonuses, and other devices for increasing density.
Vicki Been, John Infranca. December 2012.
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.
Housing and the Great Recession
The story of the Great Recession cannot be told without addressing housing and, in particular, the dramatic decline in housing prices that began in late 2006. A distinctive feature of the Great Recession is its intimate connection to the housing sector; indeed many would argue that the Great Recession was triggered by the widespread failure of risky mortgage products. Whatever the sources of the Great Recession may have been, the housing sector is still deeply troubled and is a key contributor to our ongoing economic duress. This recession brief lays out the main features of the downturn in the housing sector. It was produced as part of a series on the economic and social fallout of the recession in conjunction with the Russell Sage Foundation and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Samuel Dastrup. October 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.
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