The Tools of Public Action: Cataloguing Government Efforts to Increase the Availability of Affordable Housing in New York

Client: United States Government Accountability Office
Faculty: John Brothers and Monte Kurs
Team: "Nicolanne Addalli, Nino DePaola, Sarah Vennekotter, Stephanie Woeppel"
Year: 2008
"Over the past five decades, there has been an increase in the variety of ""tools of public action"" that the government has at its disposal. Analytic work on the cross­cut­ting and integrated nature of these tools is still relatively nascent in the federal government oversight arena. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has charged the Capstone team with developing a system for making sense of the universe of tools available. By clarifying the nature of the interactions between different types of tools, the system would seek to inform the decisions of policymakers regarding which types of tools to utilize. The team chose to focus its efforts on cataloguing the broad array of affordable housing tools available to aid New York City residents. Ultimately, the work will culminate in a comprehensive database of federal, state, and local programs which would allow the GAO to track current government efforts using a specific set of program characteristics. The database will be accompanied by a narrative report, which will include a discussion of the characteristics of existing programs and the relative lack of transparency around program costs, as well as a guide­book explaining the rationale for the choices the team made in constructing the database. "