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.
Rent Payments in a Pandemic: Analysis of Affordable Housing in New York City
In partnership with the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) and its members, as well as with feedback and support from the Housing Crisis Research Collaborative, the Furman Center compiled a novel data set of detailed information on rent charges and payments at the tenant level. Using these data, this report examines how rent payments and rental arrears (accumulated rent owed) changed for tenants residing in this sample provided by affordable housing owners and managers.
Housing and Educational Opportunity: Characteristics of Local Schools Near Families with Federal Housing Assistance
This report focuses on access to neighborhood elementary schools, highlighting disparities between families living in subsidized housing and those who do not. It describes the characteristics of the local public elementary schools to which children living in subsidized housing have access, including their student demographics, teacher characteristics and relative proficiency rates. The report shows that that families receiving all four major types of federal housing assistance lived near lower performing and higher poverty schools than other poor families with children as well as other renters with children.
State of New York City’s Subsidized Housing in 2017
This brief reviews major programs used to develop and preserve affordable housing in the city, and provides the number and location of properties benefitting from a subsidy or incentive in 2017. It also discusses when affordability restrictions on some of those properties will expire unless renewed by the owners and the housing agencies.
Points for Place: Can State Governments Shape Siting Patterns of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Developments?
There is considerable controversy about the allocation of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Some charge that credits are disproportionately allocated to developments in poor, minority neighborhoods without additional investments and thereby reinforcing patterns of poverty concentration and racial segregation. We examine whether Qualified Allocation Plans, which outline the selection criteria states use when awarding credits, can serve as an effective tool for directing credits to higher opportunity neighborhoods (or neighborhoods that offer a rich set of resources, such as high-performing schools and access to jobs) for states wishing to do so.
To answer this question, we study changes in the location criteria outlined in allocation plans for 20 different states across the country between 2002 and 2010, and observe the degree to which those modifications are associated with changes in the poverty rates and racial composition of the neighborhoods where developments awarded tax credits are located. We find evidence that changes to allocation plans that prioritize higher opportunity neighborhoods are associated with increases in the share of credits allocated to housing units in lower poverty neighborhoods and reductions in the share allocated to those in predominantly minority neighborhoods. This analysis provides the first source of empirical evidence that state allocation plans can shape LIHTC siting patterns.
Gateway to Opportunity? Disparities in Neighborhood Conditions Among Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Residents
A key goal of housing assistance programs is to help lower income households reach neighborhoods of opportunity. Studies have described the degree to which Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments are located in high-opportunity neighborhoods, but our focus is on how neighborhood outcomes vary across different subsets of LIHTC residents. We also examine whether LIHTC households are better able to reach certain types of neighborhood opportunities. Specifically, we use new data on LIHTC tenants in 12 states along with eight measures of neighborhood opportunity. We find that compared with other rental units, LIHTC units are located in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates, weaker labor markets, more polluted environments, and lower performing schools, but better transit access. We also find that compared with other LIHTC tenants, poor and minority tenants live in neighborhoods that are significantly more disadvantaged.
Katherine M. O’Regan Testimony to U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on Affordable Housing
On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, Dr. Katherine O’Regan, faculty of NYU Wagner and Faculty Director at the NYU Furman Center, testified at the United State Senate Committee on Finance’s hearing entitled, “America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions.” Dr. O’Regan’s statement outlines the extent of the nation’s affordable housing crisis and its consequences for households and markets. In discussing the federal government’s role in responding to the crisis, she discusses three proposed reforms to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to “increase its flexibility and feasibility in a broader set of market conditions, to streamline, and to more effectively meet key policy goals.” Read Dr. O'Regan's full statement or watch a video of the hearing.
The Effects of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program is the largest federal subsidy for the development and preservation of affordable housing. Since it was established by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, LIHTC has financed the development and preservation of more than 2.1 million units in over 28,000 developments across the country. As federal tax reform looms, however, there is growing uncertainty surrounding the future of LIHTC. In contemplation of debate about these possible changes, this brief explores what we know about who LIHTC serves and what research has shown about the impact of the program.
Low hanging fruit? Energy Efficiency and the Split Incentive in Subsidized Multifamily Housing
This paper explores whether and how the rules governing utility billing arrangements of subsidized housing programs impact energy consumption and exacerbate market failures that create incentives for both tenants and owners to be indifferent about their consumption levels. We test whether these incentives or dis-incentives result in higher energy consumption in subsidized properties than in comparable non-subsidized properties.The analysis focuses on three subsidized housing portfolios: Public Housing, Project-based Section 8, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Using several multivariate regression models, we find that subsidized properties are associated with higher utility consumption than market-rate properties and, of the subsidized housing programs, Public Housing tends to consume the most energy.
Utility Allowances in Federally Subsidized Multifamily Housing
This paper provides an analysis of the statutes, regulations, and guidance that govern the treatment of utility costs in the four largest federal subsidized housing programs—Public Housing, Project-Based Section 8, Housing Choice Vouchers, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits—and the incentives these rules create for the consumption of utilities. It finds that many of these programs are structured such that tenants and owners are either indifferent about utility costs or are rewarded for overconsumption. This paper makes several recommendation for how these programs can be restructured to incentivize lower utility consumption, which can reduce the environmental footprint of subsidized housing, improve the financial viability of existing subsidized properties, and free resources that can be repurposed for other HUD goals.