Policy Breakfast: Preserving Subsidized Affordable Housing in High-Opportunity Neighborhoods

News & Events | November 3rd 2014

On Monday, November 3rd, 2014, at NYU School of Law, the NYU Furman Center hosted over 200 participants for a policy breakfast, titled, Preserving Subsidized Affordable Housing in High-Opportunity Neighborhoods. It was the first of two conversations the NYU Furman Center is hosting in fall 2014 focused on the challenges of preserving affordable housing.

In New York City, over 180,000 privately-owned properties receive government subsidies in return for providing affordable housing. When those subsidies expire, owners may have the option of signing up for a new subsidy (if the city offers it) or opting out and converting their properties to market-rate housing. In recent years, the properties receiving government subsidies that extended their affordability restrictions tended to be located in neighborhoods with less access to jobs and public transportation, worse-performing public schools, and higher violent crime rates than the properties that opted out of all affordability restrictions.

Panelists included:

  • Michael Bodaken, President, National Housing Trust
  • Lisa Gomez, Chief Operating Officer/Partner, L+M Development Partners
  • Gary Rodney, President, NYC Housing Development Corporation
  • Deborah VanAmerongen, Strategic Policy Advisor, Nixon Peabody

The panel was moderated by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Faculty Director of the NYU Furman Center.

The discussion explored the degree to which the city should factor neighborhood characteristics into preservation decisions. Given the higher cost of preservation in higher-opportunity neighborhoods, panelists discussed how the city should prioritize preservation opportunities. Panelists also explored the effectiveness of current tools for preserving affordable housing and discussed lessons for designing housing subsidies going forward to avoid opt-out problems in the future.

For more information, see the event program and the opening presentation deck

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