The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
On Thursday, February 7, 2002, NYU's Furman Center For Real Estate and Urban Policy co-sponsored a conference with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on "Policies to Promote Affordable Housing." Professors Ingrid Ellen and Amy Ellen Schwartz presented a paper entitled "The Role of Government in Providing Housing Assistance: New York City's Ten-Year Plan," co-authored with Professor Michael Schill and Research Fellow Ioan Voicu. Professor Schill presented another paper entitled, "The State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods: An Overview of Recent Trends" (co-authored with Furman Center Associate Director Glynis Daniels).
The NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy has launched a new blog on economic segregation in urban neighborhoods, entitled The Dream Revisited. It's worth a look, and many return visits.
"Some people have proclaimed the end of the segregated century," said Ingrid Gould Ellen, Co-Director of the Furman Center, and the Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at NYU Wagner. "While black/white segregation has declined in the past few decades, it remains extremely high in many major metropolitan areas.
"Meanwhile, Hispanic and Asian segregation have remained unchanged, and the neighborhoods in which minorities live enjoy far fewer advantages than the neighbohoods in which whites live," added Professor Ellen, who is Director of the Urban Planning Program at Wagner.
The new blog's opening discussion brings together scholars and practitioners to explore the meaning of the term "integration" and the conditions under which it may be an effective strategy for promoting racial and economic equality in America's cities.
Nationally recognized for its housing research, the Furman Center is a joint initiative of NYU Wagner and the School of Law.
The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a joint research center between NYU Wagner and NYU Law, recently released its fourth annual analysis of FFIEC’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, called Mortgage Lending in the Great Recession: HMDA 2009.
The analysis reflects several surprises in a tumultuous year. While home purchase mortgage lending declined throughout the recession, the study found that lending to low and moderate income home buyers increased in 2009, as did the number of new mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veteran’s Administration (VA). In 2009, 16 percent of New York City home purchase mortgages were FHA/VA-backed loans, compared to less than one percent of loans issued from 2005 to 2007.
The study also found, in contrast to home purchase lending, that mortgage refinancing increased substantially in 2009. The increase in refinancing activity, however, was not uniform across New York City’s different racial and ethnic communities. Black and Hispanic homeowners did not refinance at the same rates as white and Asian borrowers, which suggests that not all New York homeowners were equally able to take advantage of lower interest rates and reduce their monthly payments.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy a recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. This distinguished award recognizes the Furman Center's excellence in providing objective, policy-relevant research to address the challenges facing neighborhoods in New York City and across the nation. The award, announced on February 16, comes with a grant of $1 million, which the Furman Center will use to broaden its research and policy analysis to more national issues.
"We are humbled and honored that the Furman Center was selected for such a prestigious award," said Vicki Been, faculty director of the Furman Center. "The demand for our work has grown dramatically with the housing crisis and the increasing need for sustainable and affordable housing across the country. This award presents a remarkable opportunity for us to expand our research beyond New York City to help policymakers in Washington and across the nation make more effective housing and community development investments and policies."
"Because we are based at New York University, and are a joint project of the NYU School of Law and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, we're able to draw on the talents of a diverse team of faculty and students to produce rigorous, interdisciplinary research on urban policy issues," Furman Center Co-Director Ingrid Gould Ellen said. "The MacArthur Award comes at a critical time, allowing us to continue to expand the work we've always done in New York City to cities and neighborhoods across the country, and to address a broader range of national issues and public policy debates."
From analyses of how subsidized housing investments affect neighborhoods, to studies of the impacts the foreclosure crisis has had on local crime, neighboring property values, tenants, and the educational trajectories of children, the Furman Center has been committed to producing objective and empirically rigorous research on pressing policy issues. Its policy breakfasts, roundtable discussions, and conferences bring thought leaders from all sectors and all points of view together to discuss topics ranging from new models for housing extremely low-income households to creative ways of addressing credit needs in a volatile and declining housing market. The Center launched an Institute for Affordable Housing Policy in 2010 to bring research, policy analysis, and debate about promising new ideas and innovative practices to bear on the challenges of creating cost-effective affordable housing programs. Through its annual State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods report, Quarterly Housing Updates, and Subsidized Housing Information Project, the Center provides essential data and analysis for the media, government agencies, non-profit housing providers, and affordable housing developers and financiers.
The award is both a recognition of the excellence of the Furman Center's prior research and policy analysis and an investment in the Furman Center's future. The Furman Center will use the grant to build data and research partnerships that will allow it to broaden the geographic scope of its research, strengthen and expand its policy analysis, and improve its communications and data management infrastructure.
More information, including an overview video about the Furman Center, is available here.
The Furman Center is one of only 15 organizations from six countries to be recognized today with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. "From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness," said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. "They provide new ways to address old problems. They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates. And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size."
The MacArthur Foundation does not seek or accept nominations for its Creative and Effective Institutions awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs.
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.