2016 Research and Policy Roundup

Research & Policy | January 20th 2017

Furman Center Logo over buildings

The year 2016 was a productive one for the NYU Furman Center. We celebrated our 20th anniversary (see the video and the retrospective microsite); launched CoreData.nyc, our updated housing and neighborhoods data hub for New York City; released several reports on housing and neighborhoods; and published a number of academic research papers.

As we embark on 2017, we are pleased to share with you highlights from our research and policy work from the past year. 


CoreData.nyc (December 2016)
We launched CoreData.nyc, a hub for housing and neighborhood data and the city’s most comprehensive resource for property-level subsidized housing information. More >>

State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2015 (May 2016)
This report captures the most compelling 2015 trends in New York City’s housing, land use, demographics, and quality of life indicators, and provides data profiles of each of the city’s 59 Community Districts. More >>

National Affordable Rental Housing Landscape (March 2016)
Our third annual report on rental housing in the nation’s largest metros finds that the renter population grew in both central city and suburban areas while more renters struggled to find affordable housing. More >>

NYU Furman Center / Citi Report on Homeownership and Opportunity in New York City (August 2016)
Our report on homeownership in the region shows how challenging it is to become a homeowner in New York City and also highlights that moving to the surrounding New York suburbs does not necessarily improve homeownership prospects. More >>


Focus on Gentrification (May 2016)
Considering changes in New York City’s neighborhoods between 1990 and 2010, this report finds that "gentrifying" neighborhoods (identifying based on the initial income level and rising rents) have seen greater growth in the shares of the population that are young adults, college-educated, white, and living alone or with roommates. More >>

Linking Residents to Opportunity: Gentrification and Public Housing (Cityscape, October 2016)
This paper finds that residents of public housing in New York City can benefit from being surrounded by better labor market and educational outcomes. The paper was published in a special issue of Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research highlighting the latest research on gentrification, co-edited by NYU Furman Center Faculty Director Ingrid Gould Ellen. More >>

Gentrification Responses: A Survey of Strategies to Maintain Neighborhood Economic Diversity (October 2016)
This policy report provides an overview of strategies available to policymakers to protect low-income households and the economic diversity of neighborhoods in cities with soaring housing costs. More >>

Does Preservation Accelerate Neighborhood Change? (Journal of the American Planning Association, March 2016)
This paper finds that, following designation, historic districts in New York City see little racial change but significant increases in resident incomes and education, which may make neighborhoods less accessible to lower-income residents. More >>


Preserving History or Restricting Development? (Journal of Urban Economics, March 2016)
This paper finds that, on average in New York City, historic district designation increases the value of properties within the historic district and the surrounding properties. We see no impact of historic districts on prices in Manhattan, however. More >>

The Significance of Segregation in the 21st Century (City and Community, March 2016)
This analysis shows that over time, segregation has become associated with greater levels of neighborhood advantage for whites relative to both African Americans and Latinos, and is consistently associated with greater racial gaps in educational and employment outcomes. More >>

Race and the Housing Cycle: Differences in Home Equity Trends Among Long-Term Homeowners (Housing Policy Debate, April 2016)
This paper studies home equity gained by different racial groups during the 2008 financial crisis, and finds that African Americans and Latinos gained less home equity compared to whites and were more likely to be underwater by the end of 2009. More >>

Housing for an Aging Population (Housing Policy Debate, June 2016)
This paper shows that despite the aging population and the growing need for accessible housing, the U.S. housing stock is woefully inadequate: fewer than 4% of housing units could be considered livable by people with moderate mobility difficulties, and recent construction is no more likely to be accessible than homes built in the mid-1990s. More >>

Why Don’t Housing Voucher Recipients Live Near Better Schools? (Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, June 2016)
This analysis finds that families with housing choice vouchers tend to use those vouchers to move toward a better school in the year before their oldest child meets the eligibility cutoff for kindergarten, at least when households live in metropolitan areas with more affordable rental units and in neighborhoods with better schools nearby. More >>

Planning for an Uncertain Future (Journal of Planning Education and Research, September 2016)
This paper evaluates what kind of decision-making tool might work best for climate-resilience planning, and finds that multi-criteria analysis has the potential to perform better than cost-benefit analysis and working groups, though it also has limitations planners should be aware of. More >>

Do Homeowners Mark to Market? (Real Estate Economics, October 2016)
Using two different data sets, this paper offers robust evidence that households tend to overestimate the value of their homes following a housing bust, and hold out for a price well above the market estimate. Over time, but slowly, they align their perceptions with reality, the data show. More >>

Poverty Concentration and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (Journal of Housing Economics, December 2016)
Using new data on both siting and tenant composition, this paper finds little evidence that LIHTC developments are affecting overall concentrations of poverty. However, the paper also shows that poor LIHTC tenants live disproportionately in developments in high-poverty neighborhoods, suggesting that policymakers interested in using the LIHTC to deconcentrate poverty should pay attention not only to siting decisions but also to the policy levers that shape tenant selection. More >>


The Dream Revisited
We added several new debates to this critical series on racial and economic segregation, including discussions examining the role segregation played in shaping the financial crisis, strategies for enhancing the opportunities faced by public housing residents, the promise and risks of small area fair market rents, and the key reasons why levels of racial segregation continue to remain high. More >>


With our research, publications, events, and data tools, we seek to expand knowledge, deepen understanding, and promote discussion of important public policy issues involving land use, real estate, housing, and urban affairs. We are extremely grateful to the individuals and organizations whose financial support makes our work possible. All donations to the NYU Furman Center are tax-deductible. More >>

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