Press Releases

Report Surveys Local Government Responses to Gentrification

October 27th 2016

New York, NY: A new report released today by the NYU Furman Center details strategies used by local governments to address rising housing costs and displacement of low-income households in gentrifying neighborhoods. The report details common policies and strategies used by cities across the U.S. to achieve two goals: create and preserve affordable housing and assist tenants at risk of displacement.

The report, Gentrification Responses: A Survey of Strategies to Maintain Neighborhood Economic Diversity, is part of a series of work by the NYU Furman Center on gentrification, but is the first to provide an overview of policy responses to the effects rapidly rising rents.

A report released in February 2016, the NYU Furman Center / Capital One National Affordable Rental Housing Landscape, analyzed rental housing affordability trends in the 11 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., and the State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods in 2015 report, released in May, explored gentrification within the context of New York City's neighborhoods.

“Across the U.S., many urban neighborhoods are facing unprecedented demand, resulting in soaring housing costs,” said Jessica Yager, Executive Director of the NYU Furman Center.  “Our research has found that all of the 11 largest U.S. metro areas saw both the number and share of renters increase in the past decade, which has put increased pressure on rental housing.”

The report notes that increasing housing supply is necessary to meet this growth in demand, but this strategy alone will not necessarily preserve neighborhood economic diversity. The report  focuses on local strategies targeted specifically to preserve affordable housing and protect long-term residents from displacement.

“We were encouraged to see that many of the strategies we identified in this report are already at work in New York City,” said Yager.

To assist tenants at risk of displacement, the report details strategies to regulate the landlord/tenant relationship as well as strategies to provide assistance for households that move. To create and preserve affordable housing, the report explores ways to use city-owned land and other resources strategically to promote affordable housing in areas where costs are on the rise. It also examines ways to harness the market, such as inclusionary zoning and linkage fees.

“While this report surveys strategies being used in some U.S. cities, we did not evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies in achieving their goals. We need additional research to really understand what policies have the greatest impact on increasing housing supply and protecting tenants with the fewest unintended consequences,” said Yager.

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REPORT PDF:  Gentrification Responses: A Survey of Strategies to Maintain Neighborhood Economic Diversity


MEDIA CONTACT: Shannon Moriarty, [email protected], 212-998-6492