The Latest Legislative Reform of the 421-a Tax Exemption: A Look at Possible Outcomes
This report explores the possible impacts of the new 421-a legislation on residential development in New York City’s neighborhoods. The legislation has set in motion three possible outcomes; the outcome should be determined in December 2016. Through financial modeling, this study details the effect each outcome will have on production of housing in different parts of the city. We find that the expiration of the 421-a benefit would likely lead to a disruption in the supply of housing by market rate builders, while a revised program without any increase in construction costs could result in the development of more rental units in many parts of the city compared to what the existing 421-a program would have created.
The Challenge of Rising Rents: Exploring Whether a New Tax Benefit Could Help Keep Unsubsidized Rental Units Affordable
The bulk of New York City’s housing stock that is affordable to low-income households is in multifamily buildings that receive no government subsidy to maintain low rents. Therefore, rising rents threaten the future affordability of this critical source of low-rent housing. The report considers whether the city could offer a benefit to protect affordability in this stock, and examines the feasibility of such a program for building owners and the city. The policy brief is third in the five-part series, Housing for an Inclusive New York: Affordable Housing Strategies for a High-Cost City. See the press release or read the key findings.
Renting in America’s Largest Cities: NYU Furman Center/Capital One National Affordable Rental Housing Landscape
The NYU Furman Center/Capital One National Affordable Housing Landscape examines rental housing affordability trends in the central cities of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Atlanta and Miami) from 2006 to 2013 and illustrates how these trends affected renters as more households chose to rent amid rising rental costs. See the press release, or view the key findings of the report as an infographic.
Building New or Preserving the Old? The Affordable Housing Tradeoffs of Developing on NYCHA Land
This report explores the tradeoffs between leasing underdeveloped NYCHA land to generate revenue, creating new affordable units, or achieving some portion of both. It finds that in neighborhoods with high rents, leasing underdeveloped NYCHA-owned land for private development could generate either substantial annual lease payments for NYCHA or significant numbers of affordable units. The potential to generate a substantial lease payment or number of affordable units drops as market rents drop. Where there is potential to lease land for development, the report quantifies the tradeoffs between generating revenue for NYCHA and creating new affordable units.
Effect of QAP Incentives on the Location of LIHTC Properties
Recent research has examined the siting patterns of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments, but the reality is that the LIHTC program is not one uniform, national program. Rather, the program is administered by state allocating agencies, each of which has considerable discretion over how to allocate tax credits. In particular, each state issues a Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP), which outlines the selection criteria the state will use when awarding its nine percent tax credits. Some criteria are required by the federal government, such as setting aside at least 10 percent of credits for nonprofit developers and using the minimum amount of tax credit financing feasible. However, states are also allowed to adopt additional criteria that further the state’s housing policy and other goals, such as providing set-asides for developments with existing housing subsidies, including the HOPE VI Program, or awarding bonus points for locating developments in particular types of neighborhoods. As the competition for credits has increased, it seems likely that these criteria play a greater role in shaping where tax credit developments are built.
Quarterly Housing Update: 1st Quarter 2015
Housing prices increased over seven percent citywide compared to the same quarter of the previous year, according to the Furman Center’s New York City 2015 Quarterly Housing Update: 1st Quarter, with prices in Brooklyn surpassing the peak level set before the Great Recession. The number of residential home sales increased by five percent citywide compared to the same quarter in 2014. Developers received approval to build nearly 6,000 new housing units in New York City, with projects in Brooklyn accounting for nearly all the growth in new development activity. The number of properties receiving notices of foreclosure was nearly 11 percent lower than it was during the same quarter in 2014. Read the full report.
Creating Affordable Housing Out of Thin Air: The Economics of Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning in New York City
This policy brief examines the economic potential of a mandatory inclusionary zoning policy to produce new affordable units tied to upzonings across New York City’s neighborhoods. It finds that a mandatory inclusionary zoning policy in New York City has the potential to produce affordable units in neighborhoods that already command high rent, such as East Harlem. But the city’s low-rent neighborhoods, such as East New York and Jerome Avenue, may not have sufficient market strength to justify high-density mixed-income development without other forms of subsidy. The study considers the role of 421-a, as well as key policy trade-offs including on-site vs. off-site, depth of affordability, and permanent affordability. View the white paper, press release, and briefing presentation deck.
Housing, Neighborhoods, and Opportunity: The Location of New York City’s Subsidized Affordable Housing
This report examines changes in the location and neighborhood characteristics of subsidized rental housing in New York City. The study shows that the distribution of subsidized rental units across New York City’s neighborhoods changed significantly between 2002 and 2011, not just as a result of new development, but also because of differential opt-out rates across neighborhoods. As a result, the city is losing affordable housing in the neighborhoods with the highest quality schools, lowest crime rates, and greatest access to jobs. Released in conjuction with the report, the Subsidized Housing Information Project (SHIP) is an online, searchable database of privately-owned, subsidized rental housing in New York City. View the press release or view the NYU Furman Center's infographic, New York City's Opt-Out Outlook.
Quarterly Housing Update: 4th Quarter 2014
The number of properties receiving notices of foreclosure was 25 percent lower in the fourth quarter of 2014 than in the same quarter in 2013, according to the Furman Center’s New York City 2014 Quarterly Housing Update: 4th Quarter. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, the number of residential sales declined about two percent citywide, and housing prices increased over six percent citywide. Residential building permit rates varied across the boroughs: more units were authorized in the fourth quarter of 2014 than in the same quarter of the previous year in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, but the Bronx and Brooklyn saw sizable declines. Read the full report.
Do Homeowners Mark to Market? A Comparison of Self-reported and Estimated Market Home Values During the Housing Boom and Bust
This paper examines homeowners’ self-reported values in the American Housing Survey and the Health and Retirement Study from the start of the recent housing price run-ups through recent price declines. It compares zip code level market-based estimates of housing prices to those derived from homeowners’ self-reported values. The paper shows that there are systematic differences which vary with market conditions and the amount of equity owners hold in their homes. When prices have fallen, homeowners systematically state that their homes are worth more than market estimates suggest, and homeowners with little or no equity in their homes state values above the market estimates to a greater degree. Over time, homeowners appear to adjust their assessments to be more in line with past market trends, but only slowly. The results suggest that underwater borrowers are likely to understate their losses and either may not be aware that their mortgages are underwater or underestimate the degree to which they are.