The External Effects of Place-Based Subsidized Housing

Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H. & Voicu, I.
New York: Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy,

Prior research has provided little evidence that subsidized housing investments generate significant external benefits to their neighborhoods. This paper revisits the external effects of subsidized housing, exploring the case of New York City. Relying on geocoded administrative data, we estimate a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find significant and sustained external benefits. Spillovers increase with project size, and decrease with distance from the project sites and with the proportion of units in multi-family, rental buildings. Our results are robust to alternative specifications. Some of the benefit appears due to the effect of the replacement of existing disamenity.

Wagner Faculty