Professor Katherine O'Regan delivers testimony at US Senate hearing on affordable housing crisis

Kathy O'Regan

Katherine M. O’Regan, Professor of Public Policy and Planning at NYU Wagner, provided expert testimony on America’s affordable housing crisis, challenges, and solutions on August 1 before the US Senate Committee on Finance.

She spoke from her perspective as a researcher on affordable housing policy, as well as from her recent experience at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. At HUD, she chaired the cross-agency Rental Policy Working Group, which focused on alignment of federal rental programs and rental affordability.

“[O]ver the past 15 years, there has been a shift in the rental stock toward the higher end,” Professor O'Regan told the committee chaired by Orin Hatch of Utah. “Nearly half of the 100 largest metropolitan areas reported absolute declines in the number of low rent units, even as their housing stocks increased.”

She explained the historic importance of the Federal government in housing markets and affordable rental housing, and focused on the significant impact of a major policy lever, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and how it can be improved.

Professor O’Regan is co-Faculty Director of the NYU Furman Center, the housing research institute of the School of Law and NYU Wagner. Her testimony can be read in its entirety.