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.
Models and Questions to Reform Exclusionary Zoning in New York
Most of New York’s peer states have stepped in to promote inclusive housing development. Their experiences can inform the choices of New York policymakers as they seek to solve New York’s housing crisis.
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.
The Academic Effects of Chronic Exposure to Neighborhood Violence
Since the pandemic began, the city has experienced a significant increase in gun violence and homicide which can lead to emotional distress, behavioral changes, and detrimental cognitive effects for students. This paper examines the differences between students with varying levels of crime exposure and finds that increased exposure results in lower English Language Arts (ELA) and math exam scores. The paper’s regression models suggest that exposure to violence had an adverse effect on reading and math test scores for students, and the effects increased with the number of violent crimes. The results provide some support for the theory that students can become sensitized to violence through increased exposure, meaning that children in more violent communities see the largest decline in test scores with each additional exposure to violent crime. The study also finds racial and gender differences, with Black and female students experiencing the largest test score losses as exposure to violent crimes increased.
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.
Challenges and Opportunities for Hotel-to-Housing Conversions in New York City
As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath, policymakers in New York City and Albany have debated whether and how to support the conversion of hotels into housing—and especially affordable housing—as part of a solution to the city’s ongoing housing crisis. To better understand what opportunities for hotel conversion exist in New York City, this paper examines the legal regime governing hotel conversions to identify the most important regulatory barriers to such adaptive uses.
Cracking Code Enforcement: How Cities Approach Housing Standards
This brief contributes to scholarly and policy debates on code enforcement. It identifies three key dimensions along which code enforcement regimes vary: their relative emphasis on hazards in individual housing units or neighborhood blight; reliance on proactive or reactive triggers for inspection and enforcement; and more cooperative or more punitive approaches to landlord compliance. It then contextualize this variation within the scholarly literature on code enforcement and, drawing from an analysis of forty cities’ code enforcement regimes as well as conversations with key stakeholders, explore how these priorities and approaches are reflected in local governments’ actual code enforcement regimes.
Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act: An Initial Analysis of Short-Term Trends
On June 11th, 2019, the New York State Legislature enacted the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA). Three days later, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the act into law, making most of the law’s provisions effective immediately on June 14th, 2019. HSTPA made significant changes to the state’s rent stabilization system and expanded protections for New York State renters. The primary purpose of the legislation was to limit the size of rent increases and to prevent rent increases from leading to the deregulation of rent stabilized apartments. While many applauded the reforms as a tool to protect housing affordability and stability for renters, others contended that the law changes would lead to disinvestment in multifamily housing, decrease the tax base for the city, and result in a long-term decline in the quality and safety of housing. In an effort to contribute information about the impact of the rent law changes, this brief describes the changes in a few key housing indicators after HSTPA and, given that most of these predicted effects would likely take years to materialize, identifies future areas for research.
Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in 2021: Analysis of a National Survey
A new report published in partnership with the National Low Income Housing Coalition and The Housing Initiative at Penn examines the program design and implementation challenges of emergency rental assistance (ERA) programs created or expanded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout. The research uses survey responses from 64 of the 140 ERA programs launched by April 8th, 2021, and compared select results to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Dashboard. Some key trends of the survey include implementation challenges surrounding tenant and landlord responsiveness, lowered barriers that allowed vulnerable populations to participate, and increased efforts to advance racial equity by targeting disadvantaged groups or communities. This report captures key trends from the earliest ERA implementors, and additional rounds of surveys will inform how program characteristics evolve and translate into outcomes.