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Forum Explores Financial Squeeze Facing Nonprofit Human-Services Sector

Forum Explores Financial Squeeze Facing Nonprofit Human-Services Sector

Allison Sesso

More than 100 leaders of nonprofit organizations, along with state and city social services officials, gathered at NYU Wagner on Feb. 24 for the release of an exhaustive report calling for urgent reforms to shore up the nonprofit human-services sector in New York, responsible for delivering essential government services to 2.5 million people each year. The report, "New York Nonprofits in the Aftermath of FEGS: A Call to Action," identifies chronic problems and offers systematic solutions to what it characterizes as a crisis-level financial squeeze facing the large sector.

"The FEGS (Federation Employment & Guidance Services) bankruptcy took place against the backdrop of a chronically underfunded sector, and it gives us an opportunity to have a real discussion about the state of New York's nonprofit human services organizations," said Gordon J. Campbell, Professor of Practice at NYU Wagner, who chaired the 32-member Non-Profit Closure Commission. The commission's deliberations led to the report.

"The commission developed this report to bring desperately needed atttention to the issues our sector is facing, and to offer solutions to bring this sector back from the brink," Professor Campbell said.

The well-attended event was sponsored by the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the Human Services Council of New York, and NYU Wagner. Associate Dean Ellen Lovitz welcomed the audience to the school's Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue on the second floor of the school's home in the historic Puck Building, followed by introductory remarks from ABNY Chairman and Rudin Management Company President Bill Rudin

Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Resources Council, provided an overview of the report, and Professor Campbell moderated a panel discussion with: Steven Banks, Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration; Paul Francis, NYS Deputy Secertary for Health and Human Services; Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Win and former New York City Council Speaker; David Rivel, CEO of The Jewish Board, and Pat Swann, Senior Program Officer at the New York Community Trust.

The report's contents drew widespread news coverage the same day in such publications as Politico NY and the Wall Street Journal.

Furman Center Presents New Data on NYC Mortgage Lending

Furman Center Presents New Data on NYC Mortgage Lending

State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods 2009

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.

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 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.

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