Half the Battle is Just Showing Up: Non-Answers and Default Judgments in Non-Payment Eviction Cases Across New York State
The goal of this brief is to describe the prevalence of tenant non-answers and default judgments, identify trends over time between 2016 and 2022, and explore variation in these rates in jurisdictions across New York State. We focus on non-payment cases (those filed for non-payment of rent) rather than holdover cases (those filed for any other reason, such as lease violations), as the vast majority of eviction filings in New York State are non-payment cases.
We find that answer rates are fairly stable over time, with pre-pandemic answer rates hovering around 50 percent in New York City and 60 percent among other jurisdictions in New York State. (These shares flip in the pandemic period, with higher answer rates in New York City than in other jurisdictions.) However, these averages conceal considerable variation. Many cities have very low rates of unanswered cases, while another sizable set of cities have high rates of unanswered cases. We also find suggestive evidence that the universal access to counsel (UAC) program in New York City may reduce both non-answer rates and the likelihood that a non-answer results in a default judgment.
Demons of density: Do higher-density environments put people at greater risk of contagious disease?
This paper studies the relationship between density and COVID during three distinct waves of the pandemic in New York City. Unlike prior work, this paper's analysis uses individual Medicaid claims records, which include a rich array of demographic characteristics and pre-existing medical conditions and cover a near universe of low-income New Yorkers. In brief, the results suggest that living in higher density neighborhoods did not heighten the risk of COVID hospitalization.
Eviction practices across subsidized housing in New York State
This data brief compares eviction patterns in different types of place-based, subsidized housing in New York City and in other cities and jurisdictions across New York State from 2016 to the present. It finds that eviction filing rates are consistently higher in public housing than in other types of subsidized housing. Importantly, the share of eviction filings that result in a warrant of eviction, and the average amount sought per filing is consistently lower in public housing than in other stocks. These facts suggest that many public housing agencies view eviction filings as a strategy to collect back rent.
Can Emergency Rental Assistance Be Designed to Prevent Homelessness? Learning from Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
Homelessness prevention efforts face an overarching challenge: how to target limited resources far enough downstream to capture those at greatest risk of homelessness, but far enough upstream to stabilize households before they experience a cascade of negative outcomes. This paper asks: how did the COVID-19 emergency rental assistance programs launched in hundreds of localities across the United States respond to this challenge?
Advancing Choice in the Housing Choice Voucher Program: Source of Income Protections and Locational Outcomes
The housing choice voucher program, the largest low-income housing subsidy program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides assistance to over 5 million people in approximately 2.3 million households. But, one of the program’s elusive goals is to provide more - and better - locational choices for recipient households. Surveying data between 2007 and 2017, this paper evaluates how source of income laws in 31 jurisdictions impact where voucher holders live. These laws prohibit discrimination based on the source of income a tenant uses to pay rent. The authors find consistent evidence that adopting such laws result in greater neighborhood improvements among existing voucher holders who move. More specifically, voucher holders who move after a law has been enacted live in areas with lower poverty rates and more racially diverse populations.
Economic Challenge for the Rent Guidelines Board
Rent stabilized apartments account for nearly half of all rental units in New York City and are a vital source of relatively low-cost rental housing. New Yorkers who live in rent stabilized apartments pay a lower median rent and have a lower median income than households in unregulated apartments, but are also more likely to experience maintenance deficiencies. The responsibility for overseeing the economic viability and affordability of this important housing stock rests with the nine-member Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), which sets annual rent adjustments for rent stabilized apartments. Given the importance of the rent stabilized apartment stock, it is essential to think hard about how to preserve both its quality and quantity.
Falling Through the Cracks? The Distribution of ERAP Spending in New York State
This analysis identifies and describes the ZIP Codes in New York City and a subsample of New York State that received lower and higher than expected ERAP applications to inform decisions about how to prioritize areas for other interventions and the allocation of any additional ERA funds that may come to New York State in the future. It finds that low-application outlier ZIP Codes had relatively low rates of pre-pandemic eviction filings and unemployment. These results could suggest that low-application outlier ZIP Codes house populations that are more economically stable and less vulnerable to housing instability.
The Role of 421-a during a Decade of Market Rate and Affordable Housing Development
The purpose of the 421-a tax exemption program, known in its most recent iteration as “Affordable New York,” is to encourage new housing construction by alleviating property taxes on the added value that comes with new development. Affordable New York will sunset in June 2022, and its future has been a source of much public debate. This brief takes a close look at development under various versions of 421-a during the last decade. It also examines the housing stock created under the current iteration of the program, Affordable New York. In addition, it examines the take-up of 421-a, the geography of development, and the types of units created with 421-a according to affordability and number of bedrooms. Understanding the recent impact of the program over the last decade is important for policymakers, stakeholders, and advocates as they consider the future of the program.
The Case Against Restrictive Land Use and Zoning
This policy brief broadly lays out the drawbacks of restrictive land use, then reviews the current state of New York’s zoning and explains the need for state intervention.
Rent Payments in Affordable Housing During the Pandemic: The Role of Rental Subsidies and the Safety Net
In this brief, the NYU Furman Center and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley join together as members of the Housing Crisis Research Collaborative to conduct updated and additional analysis of renters and rental payments in primarily affordable housing portfolios in New York City and California. We are able to elevate similarities in trends and provide a more complete picture of the challenges facing both renters and property owners as they exit the depths of the economic crisis.