Challenges Facing Housing Markets in the Next Decade: Developing a Policy-Relevant Research Agenda
This paper proposes a research agenda that addresses the major challenges facing the U.S. housing market: the long-term effects of the housing market crisis on today’s households and on the next generation, increasing poverty coupled with persistently high income inequality and volatility, continued concentration of poor and minority households in low-quality housing and low-opportunity neighborhoods, and the growing need for sustainable and resilient buildings and communities. This analysis is a framing paper for the What Works Collaborative, a foundation-supported research partnership that conducts timely research and analysis to help inform the implementation of an evidence-based housing and urban policy agenda.
Density and Disaster: New Models of Disaster Recovery for Housing in High-Density Cities
JAPA Disaster Planning Special Issue Planning Note
Household Energy Bills and Subsidized Housing
Household energy consumption is crucial to national energy policy. This article analyzes how the rules covering utility costs in the four major federal housing assistance programs alter landlord and tenant incentives for energy efficiency investment and conservation. We conclude that, relative to market-rate housing, assistance programs provide less incentive to landlords and tenants for energy efficiency investment and conservation, and utilities are more likely to be included in the rent. Using data from the American Housing Survey, we examine the differences in utility billing arrangements between assisted and unassisted low-income renters and find that—even when controlling for observable building and tenant differences—the rent that assisted tenants pay is more likely to include utilities. Among all tenants who pay utility bills separately from rent, observable
differences in energy expenses for assisted and unassisted tenants are driven by unit, building, and household characteristics rather than the receipt of government assistance.
Housing in the U.S. Floodplains
This brief, presented in conjuction with FloodzoneData.us describes characteristics about the housing stock located in the U.S. floodplains. Between 2011 and 2015, five percent of all occupied housing units in the United States were located in the 100-year floodplain, and 10 percent were located in combined (100- and 500-year) floodplains. The brief details factors that are important to understand when assessing the risk from flooding and the challenges of retrofitting, including the shares that are rental and owner-occupied, the age of the housing, and whether the housing is government subsidized.
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.
Planning For An Uncertain Future: Can Multi-Criteria Analysis Support Better Decision-Making In Climate Planning?
This paper by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Jessica Yager, Melinda Hanson, and Luke Bo'sher, published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, examines how multicriteria analysis (MCA), a decision-making tool, compares to other commonly used tools for making decisions about climate-change planning. The authors find that MCA has the potential to perform better than cost benefit analysis and working group approaches in supporting decision making processes that are more participatory, transparent, comprehensive, rigorous, and scenario-driven (five principles of effective planning). The paper also explores the ways in which MCA might fall short of these principles in practice, including when planners have limited resources.
Planning for Resilience: The Challenge of Floodproofing Multifamily Housing
Three years after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of New York City, the housing stock in many urban coastal areas remains vulnerable to flooding. Much of the housing stock in these high-risk areas is out of compliance with federal flood-resistant design and construction standards.The report illustrates the significant design and financial hurdles of retrofitting multifamily housing common to many urban, coastal areas, describes existing policies and design approaches and their shortfalls, and provides recommendations for state and local practitioners to improve resilience of multi-family housing in their communities.
Population and Housing in the Floodplain Battered by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
In conjunction with the launch of FloodzoneData.us, the NYU Furman Center released a series of data briefs to illustrate the housing and population located in the U.S. floodplains. The third brief in the series, Population and Housing in the Floodplain Battered by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, describes the housing and population located in the floodplains of metropolitan areas affected by hurricanes in recent months, including Houston, Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville. The analysis describes the housing stock (including tenure, size, and number of subsidized housing units) and population demographics (including poverty rates, households with children and seniors, and race/ethnicity) in floodplains within these metro areas.
Population in the U.S. Floodplains
In conjunction with the launch of FloodzoneData.us, the NYU Furman Center released a series of data briefs to illustrate the housing and population located in the U.S. floodplains. The second brief in the series, Population in the U.S. Floodplains, explores the characteristics of the population located in the 100-year floodplain and the combined floodplain (100-year and 500-year floodplain), nationwide. In 2015, more than 30 million people (10% of the U.S. population) lived in the combined floodplain.
Sandy’s Effects on Housing in New York City
Four months after Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers continue to pick up the pieces and rebuild. This report summarizes newly available information about the characteristics of properties in the area in New York City flooded by Sandy’s storm surge, as well as demographic characteristics of households that have registered to receive assistance from FEMA. Released in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, who provided a similar analysis on Long Island and New Jersey, the reports find that low-income renters were disproportionately impacted by Sandy and will require special assistance to fully recover. In addition to viewing the full report below, the source data is available here.