Publications Books and Chapters
The American Mortgage System: Crisis and Reform
The Secondary Mortgage Market for Housing Finance in the United States: A Brief Overview
Understanding both the current problems in the secondary market and the proposed solutions requires an understanding of the role of the secondary mortgage market in U.S. housing finance. In this chapter, the authors focus in particular on the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which for decades were the largest players in the U.S. system. The authors conclude that while the described weaknesses within the chapter are important, and the structure of the GSE’s should surely be improved, it would be a mistake to assume that simply reforming the GSEs, without making significant reforms to the private-label market, would prevent another crisis.
The Community Reinvestment Act: Evaluating Past Performance and Reviewing Options for Reform
The passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1977 set in motion a bold experiment that has yet to achieve its full potential. This chapter analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of implementation of the CRA over the last 33 years and provides potential directions for reform, one of which recommends that the Obama administration designate one agency to take the lead and give the agency a tight timetable, sufficient staffing and analytic resources, and the authority to resolve disputes. While reform may also involve legislation, it is important to make sure that it does not become overly prescriptive and stifle innovation. The banking world will continue to evolve, as will the best ideas on how to revitalize and strengthen communities.
Improving U.S. Housing Finance Through Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: A Framework for Evaluating Alternatives
This chapter lays out criteria for evaluating proposals for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The authors introduce the basic goals of a healthy secondary market for both the single-family and multi-family markets, which include access to liquid credit markets nationwide, countercyclical stability and availability of safe products that are reasonably priced and clearly understood by borrowers and investors.The authors also offer a framework that will help describe and understand the different proposals for reform and how variants of Fannie and Freddie might fit into that picture. As federal government officials contemplate the future of these two entities, the authors hope that this chapter offers a useful framework to use in evaluating the alternative proposals.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, John Napier Tye, Mark A. Willis. (University of Pennsylvania Press) . June 2011.
Matching Words and Deeds? How Transit-Oriented are the Bloomberg-era Rezonings in New York City?
Anticipating that New York City will grow to more than nine million residents by 2030, the City has launched an ambitious planning agenda focused on development in neighborhoods well served by public transit. Between 2002 and 2009, New York City’s government enacted 100 significant changes to its zoning code, constituting the most significant change to the City’s land use regulations since the original version of the current zoning code was adopted in 1961. This chapter explores the cumulative impact of the individual zoning actions on residential capacity, and how the rezonings match the City’s stated development, environmental and transportation goals. The authors found that, consistent with desired development patterns, there has been a modest overall increase in residential capacity concentrated in neighborhoods near rail transit stations.
Simon McDonnell, Josiah Madar, Vicki Been. Transportation and Economic Development Challenges (Edward Elgar Publishing) . May 2011.
The Evolving Crisis in Context: Recent Developments for Tenants in the Foreclosure Crisis
Although the plight of renters in the foreclosure crisis has entered the consciousness of national policymakers, renters have more often than not been omitted from the narratives offered to describe the ongoing crisis. Despite the lack of attention they have received, many thousands of rent-paying tenants have also been affected by the foreclosure crisis. Fortunately, tenants have received specific protections from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as new rights under new federal laws. But while these new protections and rights should help, tenants still face significant uncertainty as the foreclosure crisis continues to unfold and outreach and communication of these rights will be essential. This chapter, assesses the extent and scale of the challenges facing renters in the foreclosure crisis, as well federal action and GSE policy changes designed to address their rights. It is an excerpt from a report by The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, “Forging a New Housing Policy: Opportunity in the Wake of Crisis.”
Josiah Madar, Allegra Glashausser. Forging a New Housing Policy: Opportunity in the Wake of Crisis (The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University) . February 2011.
How to House the Homeless
Homelessness is one of the most troubling and persistent social problems in the United States, yet experts can neither agree on its root causes nor on how to eradicate it. Is homelessness the result of individual life conditions, such as poverty, addiction, or mental illness, or is there simply not enough affordable housing? And which services are the most successful? In How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O’Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Brendan O’Flaherty. July 2010.
Exploring Changes in Low-Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s
While there has been much talk of the resurgence of lower-income urban neighborhoods in the United States over the past ten to fifteen years, there has been surprisingly little empirical examination of the extent and nature of the phenomenon. Our chapter aims to address these key questions. In the first half, we undertake a broad empirical investigation of income changes in low-income neighborhoods in U.S. cities during the 1990s, comparing them to the changes that occurred during the two previous decades. In the second half of the chapter, we explore some reasons why the fortunes of lower-income urban neighborhoods improved during the 1990s.
Ingrid Gould Ellen & Katherine O’Regan. December 2009.
Spillovers and Subsidized Housing: The Impact of Subsidized Rental Housing on Neighborhoods
Rental housing is increasingly recognized as a vital housing option in the United States. Yet government policies and programs continue to grapple with widespread problems, including affordability, distressed urban neighborhoods, poor-quality housing stock, concentrated poverty, and exposure to health hazards in the home. These challenges can be costly and difficult to address. The time is ripe for fresh, authoritative analysis of this important yet often overlooked sector.
Ingrid Gould Ellen. Revisiting Rental Housing (Brookings Institution Press) . December 2008.
Continuing Isolation: Segregation in America Today
“Segregation: The Rising Costs for America” documents how discriminatory practices in the housing markets through most of the past century, and that continue today, have produced extreme levels of residential segregation that result in significant disparities in access to good jobs, quality education, homeownership attainment and asset accumulation between minority and non-minority households.
Ingrid Gould Ellen. Segregation: The Rising Costs for America (Routledge) . December 2008.
Do Economically Integrated Neighborhoods Have Economically Integrated Schools?
The goal of this book, the first in a series, is to bring policymakers, practitioners, and scholars up to speed on the state of knowledge on various aspects of urban and regional policy. The authors take a fresh look at several different issues (e.g., economic development, education, land use) and conceptualize how each should be thought of. Once the contributors have presented the essence of what is known, as well as the likely implications, they identify the knowledge gaps that need to be filled for the successful formulation and implementation of urban and regional policy.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Leanna Stiefel. Urban and Regional Policy and Its Effects (Urban Institute Press) . December 2008.
How Integrated Did We Become During the 1990s?
Although levels of residential segregation remain undeniably high, this emphasis on segregation can obscure the fact that integrated communities do exist and, as one of the key findings here demonstrate, are becoming more, not less, common.
Ingrid Gould Ellen. Fragile Rights Within Cities (Rowman and Littlefield) . December 2007.
Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials (Third Edition)
A thematic framework that reveals the connections among the multiple discrete topics under land law, with attention to the factual and political context of the cases and the aftermath of decisions
Ellickson, Robert and Vicki L. Been. (Aspen Publishers) . September 2005.
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