Urban Planning

Furman Center Receives MacArthur Foundation Support for Three-Year Housing Study

Furman Center Receives MacArthur Foundation Support for Three-Year Housing Study

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy funding for a Preservation Data Project-a new initiative that will track affordable housing in danger of converting to market rate rentals.  The project will have three components: a database of affordable housing throughout New York City, including detailed information on the dates when restrictions on the housing's rents expire; an early warning/opportunity system for subsidized housing at risk of opting out or failing to meet the requirements of subsidy programs; and analytic tools for assessing the potential to preserve a subsidized property as affordable housing.

This three year project, funded under the MacArthur Foundation's Window of Opportunity: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing initiative, is a part of a wider effort by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to preserve affordable housing.  The grant will allow the center -- a joint research center of New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and School of Law -- to create a new interactive database, available online, to allow government agencies, non-profits and community groups to track the tens of thousands of affordable rental units at risk of expiring out of the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), HUD, Mitchell-Lama and HPD-financed programs.

In addition, it will allow us to develop systems and tools the entire affordable housing community can use to target properties that present the greatest risks and the highest potential for preservation.

The Furman Center is led by Ingrid Ellen, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning at NYU Wagner, is the Co-Director of the Center.

Furman Center Releases "15 Years of Research, Analysis and Insight"

Furman Center Releases "15 Years of Research, Analysis and Insight"

Over the past 15 years, the Furman Center has been committed to the highest standards of interdisciplinary empirical and legal research about housing, land use, real estate, and urban affairs. This report looks back at the Furman Center’s past research, events and reports in four focus areas: Housing Finance and Foreclosures, Affordable Housing, Land Use Regulation, and Neighborhood Change.

Furman Center Releases New Report on Foreclosed Properties in New York City

Furman Center Releases New Report on Foreclosed Properties in New York City

On January 14, 2010, the Furman Center released a new report, Foreclosed Properties in NYC: A Look at the Last 15 Years.  The report analyzes the outcomes of 1-4 family properties that entered foreclosure in New York City between 1993 and 2007, paying particular attention to trends in recent years.  While foreclosure filings continue to rise, little is known about what happens to those properties-how many homeowners are able to stay in their home, how many sell their homes, how many complete the foreclosure process and end up in REO.  This report sheds new light on these questions. View the press release.

Furman Center releases new study on racial segregation and subprime lending

Furman Center releases new study on racial segregation and subprime lending

On November 19, 2009, the Furman Center released a new report examining the relationship between residential segregation and subprime lending. The study examined whether the likelihood that borrowers of different races received a subprime loan varied depending on the level of racial segregation. It looked both at the role of racial segregation in metropolitan areas across the country and at the role that neighborhood demographics within communities in New York City played. The report found that, nationally, black borrowers living in the most racially segregated metropolitan areas were more likely to receive subprime loans than black borrowers living in the least racially segregated metropolitan areas. When looking just at New York City neighborhood demographics, the report found that living in a predominantly non-white neighborhood made it more likely that borrowers of all races would receive a subprime loan.

The Furman Center is a leading academic research center, and a joint initiative of NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and the School of Law. The director is Vicki Been, the Boxer Family Professor of Law, and the co-director is Professor Ingrid Ellen of Wagner.

Furman Center Report and Forum Explore Gentrification

Furman Center Report and Forum Explore Gentrification

This month, the Furman Center, part of NYU Wagner and the School of Law, released its State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods in 2015 report. The report includes a "Focus on Gentrification” (PDF) that explores gentrification within the context of New York City's neighborhoods. Of the city's 55 neighborhoods, the report classifies 15 as "gentrifying," or initially low-income neighborhoods that have seen above-median rent appreciation. It also analyzes how their housing and population have changed over the past two decades. The report finds that they have seen greater growth in the shares of the population that are young adults, college-educated, white, and living alone or with roommates, as compared to other neighborhoods.​ 

The widely cited annual report was introduced and discussed at a symposium (video) hosted by the Community Development Studies & Education Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis,

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at NYU Wagner, is the Furman Center's faculty director. She introduced the symposium keynote speaker, NYU Wagner Professor Katherine O'Regan, who is currently on leave as an NYU Wagner faculty member and serves as Assistant Secretary of Policy Development and Research U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Assistant Secretary O'Regan discussed neighborhood demographic, rent, and affordability trends, using research by the Furman Center. The forum also featured views from practitioners on best practices for inclusive neighborhoods and equitable development.

Furman Center Report Finds Fewer New Mortgages Go to Blacks and Hispanics

Furman Center Report Finds Fewer New Mortgages Go to Blacks and Hispanics

A new report by the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, a joint initiative of the New York University School of Law and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, shows that the number of new mortgates to blacks and  Hispanics plummeted in New York  City in 2007. Meanwhile, according to the report, released in October, 2008, that total held steady for white borrowers.

The report found that risky high-interest loans declined -- a silver lining, according to the researchers, who used data released in September, 2008 under the Federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

The Furman Center is dedicated to providing objective academic and empirical research on the legal and public policy issues involving land use, real estate, housing and urban affairs in the United States, with a particular focus on New York City. Its Director is Law School  Professor Vicki L. Been of the Law School and its Co-director is Professor Ingrid Gould Ellen of NYU Wagner. 

To read the report and related news coverage, please click below.

Furman Center Sees Sharp Rise in Sub-prime Mortgages in NYC

Furman Center Sees Sharp Rise in Sub-prime Mortgages in NYC

In October, 2007, the website Gotham Gazette interviewed NYU Wagner Professor Ingrid Ellen and NYU School of Law Professor Vicki Been about "2006 State of New York City Housing and Neighborhoods," a widely cited report of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy operated jointly by Wagner and the Law School. As the Q@A reflects (click below), the Center has found a dramatic increase in subprime loans to individuals with problematic credit histories, as well as high rates of foreclosures in some parts of the city. Professor Ellen, Co-director of the Furman Center (Professor Been is Director), also addressed the issue of subprime mortgages and their impact on minority communities at an Oct. 4, 2007, forum at the Wagner School with Sarah Gerecke, CEO, Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC. That forum, "Risking the American Dream," was sponsored by the Students of African Descent Alliance Wagner Student Group. On October 15, the New York Times featured an article on the Furman Center analysis on sub-prime lending, entitled "Racial Disparity Found Among New Yorkers with High-Rate Mortgages." The Times also published an editorial on the Furman Center analysis in the Oct. 17 edition.

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