New Study Examines the Effects of Neighborhood Change on Public Housing Residents
A new report from the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity and Abt Associates, completed in collaboration with the NYU Furman Center, examines how the socioeconomic makeup of neighborhoods surrounding New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, and recent changes in that makeup, affect public housing residents’ quality of life.
The report, titled, “The Effects of Neighborhood Change on New York City Housing Authority Residents,” finds that the economic landscape surrounding many NYCHA developments has changed over time. Researchers separated neighborhoods surrounding NYCHA developments into three classifications of persistently low, increasing, or persistently high income when compared to the NYC median over three decades.
Researchers found statistically significant differences in earnings for NYCHA residents living in different neighborhood types, unlikely to have been affected by resident selection bias. Annual household earnings average $4,500 higher for public housing residents in high-income neighborhoods as compared to persistently low-income neighborhoods. Earnings are $3,000 higher for those in increasing income neighborhoods.
The study engaged NYCHA residents as research partners in three in-depth case studies in Morris Heights, Long Island City, and Chelsea. The qualitative results complement the quantitative findings by describing residents’ personal experiences of neighborhood change, highlighting some of the ways this observed difference in incomes may be offset by higher costs for NYCHA residents in high income neighborhoods. In all three types of neighborhoods, residents expressed a need for more enrichment, skill-building, and employment opportunities, of the sort offered by CEO and NYC Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) programs.
The report was conducted by NYC Center for Economic Opportunity and Abt Associates in partnership with the NYU Furman Center, BronxWorks, Hudson Guild, and Urban Upbound, and the New York City Housing Authority.