The Impact of Subsidized Housing Investment on New York City’s Neighborhoods
The contemporary assumption is that the production of subsidized housing, if anything, accelerates neighborhood decline – “there goes the neighborhood” is the common refrain. Partially as a result, we’ve seen the policy pendulum swing away from place-based housing investment towards demand-side housing programs, such as housing vouchers. Through multiple studies, the Furman Center has consistently found significant, positive impacts from subsidized housing investment, suggesting that publicly-funded housing investments aimed at distressed urban properties can deliver significant benefits to the surrounding community.
Housing Policy in New York City: A Brief History
Published in April 2006, this paper tells the story of housing policy in New York City over the past 30 years. The report describes the city’s unprecedented efforts to rebuild its housing stock during the late 1980s and 1990s and analyzes the specific features of the New York City’s 10-year plan that made these efforts so successful. In addition, the report describes New York City’s current housing environment and policy challenges.
Reducing the Cost of New Housing Construction in New York City: 2005 Update
As was the case in 1999, the major housing problem facing residents of New York City in 2005 is the affordability of housing. More than one out of every five renters in the city pay over half their incomes in rent. It is especially problematic that the vast majority of households who experience these severe housing affordability problems earn low incomes. Nevertheless, high housing costs are a significant problem for households throughout the income spectrum. While limited data suggest that housing affordability problems may have moderated a tiny bit for renters from 1999 to 2004, they worsened for owners.
Impact Fees and Housing Affordability
The increasing use of impact fees and the costs that they may add to the development process raises serious concerns about the effect using impact fees to fund infrastructure will have on the affordability of housing.
The Role of Cities in Providing Housing Assistance: A New York Perspective
In recent years, the federal government has increasingly relied upon states and cities to create and administer social policy. This paper examines available theory and evidence regarding the appropriate role of different levels of government, focusing in particular on the role of cities. Exploring the case of New York City, the paper also offers new empirical evidence on the extent to which investments in affordable housing can help to eliminate externalities and rebuild inner city communities. The authors conclude that although cities should play a major role in administering housing programs, they should only fund them under a limited set of circumstances. Redistribution of income, a major objective of most housing subsidy programs, should generally be paid for by the federal government, not cities. In contrast, cities should consider funding housing production programs when they are part of a comprehensive strategy either to remove negative externalities or to generate positive spillovers. The authors' empirical analysis of New York City's investment in new housing suggests that housing programs can generate significant external benefits to their neighborhoods. Thus, the results point to a potentially important role for cities, based upon the spillover effects of housing construction and rehabilitation in distressed neighborhoods.