INTERACTIVE DATA TOOLS FOR CRAFTING TENURE-BASED HOUSING POLICIES IN NYC
Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) works to develop and advance practical public policies to support New York City’s housing stock by better understanding the city’s most pressing housing and neighborhood needs. CHPC’s ongoing initiative, A New Lens for NYC's Housing Plan, aims to widen the conversation around the city’s next housing plan and develop new metrics for policymakers. CHPC enlisted the team to expand this initiative by exploring NYC housing policy through the lens of the city’s housing stock broken down by tenure: rent stabilized rental, market rate rental, public housing, and owner-occupied units. Using public data, the team created interactive data tools to explore housing tenure overlaid with key demographics and other housing indicators. The team then used these tools to synthesize neighborhood-specific policy recommendations that meet the needs of the residents based on tenure and demographic composition.
EXAMINING HOW 421A MAY HAVE REINFORCED RACIAL SEGREGATION THROUGHOUT GENTRIFYING AREAS IN NEW YORK CITY
Section 421a of the New York State Real Property Tax Law, created during New York City’s real estate nadir in 1971, offers developers of multifamily residential dwelling units various tax abatement options for building on vacant or undesirable land. In order to preserve affordable housing as the real estate market recovered, the 1985 State Legislature identified affordable housing criteria which developers must meet to qualify for the abatement. The team examined the consequences of the Section 421a program on racial segregation in Brooklyn and Queens from 2008 through 2019 by analyzing two particular provisions: Geographic Exclusionary Areas (GEA) and the Community Preference policy. The team used a spatial regression discontinuity design to understand the impact of the 2008 expansion of the GEA boundary and increases in community set-asides on racial segregation. The findings and policy implications detailed in the final report are particularly relevant for current policy makers, as the Section 421a program is up for legislative renewal in 2022.
DEVELOPING BEST PRACTICES FOR TENANT ENGAGEMENT AND RIGHTS ADVOCACY
IMPACCT Brooklyn, also known as the Pratt Area Community Council, is a community development corporation that owns over 1,000 units of affordable or supportive housing. Since 1964, IMPACCT Brooklyn has advocated for Central Brooklyn residents and entrepreneurs on issues including affordable housing, tenant rights, small businesses, and homeownership. In 2015, the organization contracted out its property management services, resulting in a degree of separation between IMPACCT Brooklyn and its tenants. A team was engaged to conduct external research—on the community district, housing legislation, local and state representatives, and the 2021 NYC Mayoral race—and stakeholder interviews—of staff members, business affiliates, tenant associations, and board members. The team designed a pilot survey for IMPACCT Brooklyn to use to assess its residents’ satisfaction with their housing, awareness of their tenant rights, and wellbeing during the pandemic. The team created a final report containing a toolkit of recommendations for strengthening the organization's tenant engagement and rights advocacy efforts.
EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF BOILER FUEL REGULATIONS ON AIR QUALITY IN NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS
Over the past two mayoral administrations, New York City’s municipal government has implemented a series of local regulations designed to improve air quality across the city. One such policy, the Clean Heat initiative, curtailed the use of two heavy fuel oils used in building boilers for winter heating. Leveraging publically available data, the team analyzed whether the policy has been implemented as designed, and whether the implementation resulted in the intended outcome of meaningfully decreasing the concentration of dangerous particulate matter (PM2.5) in street-level air in various city neighborhoods. The team developed a report that includes an analysis of differentiated impacts in high- and low-income neighborhoods and suggestions for future regulation design that prioritizes environmental justice and equity.
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON NEW YORK CITY’S MULTI-FAMILY AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) is responsible for developing and maintaining the city’s affordable housing stock. HPD engaged a team to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the cost of preserving and operating affordable rental housing in New York City. The team assessed the experiences of multifamily building owners in NYC by conducting a literature review, stakeholder interviews, and financial modeling. The team’s qualitative and quantitative analyses provided critical policy insights around ensuring the long-term viability of affordable housing, and informed the team’s final recommendations on priorities and strategies for achieving an equitable economic recovery.