New York-Presbyterian, a world-renowned hospital, research center and medical school, is also a landlord in Northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights. Recently, it hit one of its commercial tenants – Coogan’s, a neighborhood restaurant and bar – with a rent hike that the owners said would force Coogan’s to close. Then the community rallied to Coogan’s side – and persuaded the hospital to relent. Here’s the backstory, and its larger implications.


Pushed Out: Countering Housing Displacement in an Unaffordable Region

By Pierina Ana Sanchez, Moses Gates, and Sarah Serpas

In New York City’s tristate metro region, more than one million low- to moderate-income households, 70% of them Black or Hispanic, are vulnerable to displacement. As the Regional Plan Association’s recent report on this crisis shows, those most at risk live in pedestrian-friendly urban communities with good access to jobs and services. As demand pushes rents and sale prices in such areas upward, lower-income households are pushed outward. There is a clear link between increasing rents, displacement, and homelessness. In New York City, a 5% rent increase has been associated with an additional 3,000 residents becoming homeless.


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By Maggie Clarke, Paul Epstein, Allegra LeGrande, Cheryl Pahaham, Nancy Preston, Susanna Schaller, Philip Simpson, Maria Luisa Tasayco and David Thom

Bill de Blasio just became the first Democrat re-elected Mayor of New York City in 32 years. His first term was marked by new, progressive policies promising to make our city more equitable, including Universal Pre-K and more broadly available sick leave for many thousands more workers. But everyday New Yorkers across the city also oppose the Mayor’s housing and land use policies. Nor is his administration listening to the people who have the most to lose from rezonings integral to those policies – including the rezoning of our neighborhood, Inwood.


Events | Affordable Housing


Tale of Two Cities: Public Housing and Family Poverty in New York and Chicago

Chicago tore down its high-rises, but what did the city do to build up the people who lived there? The New York City Housing Authority has done better than most in providing decent, affordable homes, yet many residents live in deep poverty. Join us for a discussion about public housing and the needs of resident families and children. Panelists will discuss the structural challenges of inequality and racial segregation that continue to isolate public housing communities and efforts to connect residents to opportunity. 

 Reprinted By: Permission of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Reprinted By: Permission of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

For more than 40 years, Chicago’s enormous public housing high-rises dominated the city’s poorest African-American neighborhoods, bringing crime and drug trafficking and blighting the lives of the families that lived in them.  But 15 years ago, the City of Chicago began a remarkable odyssey that would help the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) evolve from the most dysfunctional public landlord in America to the ordinary city bureaucracy it is today. 


Urban Matters | Affordable Housing

If At First You Don't Rezone...

By Flávia Leite

The New York City Council recently approved by a vote of 43-0 the de Blasio Administration’s East Midtown rezoning plan. It marked the final step in a torturous journey begun when, in the waning days of his mayoralty four years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg put forward, then withdrew for lack of political support, an earlier rezoning plan intended to modernize a 73-block business district anchored by Grand Central Station.


By James Parrott, Ph.D.

Now that Senator Chuck Schumer helped the White House engineer legislation to lift the federal debt ceiling and fund the federal government until December, much more attention in Washington will shift to tax reform. In New York City, unfortunately, no one expects much to happen soon on local tax reform – a pity, given how a highly regressive property tax system imposes a deeply unfair tax burden on low-income households.


Cutting Rents Without Bleeding Landlords (2016)

By Flavia Leite, Courtney Loiacono, Grant Nagaki, and
Dan Wooldridge

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year affordable housing plan paints a stark picture of nearly one million low-income households competing for fewer than half that number of affordable housing units. That’s why we propose decreasing, not just freezing, what the hardest-pressed tenants pay – without penalizing their landlords.


Urban Matters | Affordable Housing, Housing + Homelessness

The Pitfalls in de Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan and How to Avoid Them (2016)

By Ronald Shiffman 
In creating affordable housing, New York City government is dependent on its own revenues, its ability to leverage private financial resources, and the limited powers that State government grants it. Zoning is one of those powers. That’s why the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio is pursuing a policy of “mandatory inclusionary zoning.” It requires that in particular areas developers set aside fixed percentages of proposed residential units for low- and moderate-income families. 


Urban Matters | Affordable Housing, Housing + Homelessness

Another Reason to Make Rents More Affordable: It Could Be Good for Your Health (2015)

By Rachel Meltzer and Alex Schwartz 
Blood poisoning from peeling lead paint and leaking gas pipes; asthma and other diseases aggravated by inadequate heating and insulation; injuries and fatalities from falls or fires in unsafe and derelict buildings; researchers and reformers have long raised alarms about the serious health hazards associated with substandard or badly maintained housing.

Now our newly published research suggests that another factor – the high cost of housing – may be just as bad for many New Yorkers’ health as these physical perils.  In some cases, unsustainable rent burdens may in fact be even more detrimental. 


Event | Affordable Housing, New York City Politics  

Affordable Housing: Rent and Reality (2015) 

Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious affordable housing agenda is at the heart of his administration’s pledge to start a new chapter in “a tale of two cities.” In 2015, Albany serves as the rent-regulation battleground but the true impact of this fight will be felt in the five boroughs where more than 2.3 million people live in rent-regulated housing. While proposals to construct new affordable housing continue to garner the most media attention, the mayor’s State of the City address revealed just how dependent his strategy is on preserving the affordability of existing units. What does the battle over rent regulation in the state capital portend for turning de Blasio’s vision into reality?

Event | Affordable Housing 

The Mayoral Agenda: Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation (2014)

Historic Districts Council and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are working together to present a panel discussion about affordable housing and historic preservation. With the mayor's plans for affordable housing given such a focus as well as the multitude of articles written about these two topics together, we thought that it was an appropriate time for public discussion about it. The program will feature a mix of community and affordable housing advocates, civic leaders and preservationists. 

Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Harvey Epstein, project director, Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center; NYC Rent Guidelines Board Member
Nadine Maleh, director, Inspiring Places program at Community Solutions
Rachel Meltzer, assistant professor of urban policy, The New School
Rosie Mendez, member, New York City Council, District 2 (Lower East Side)
Moderated by Andrew Berman, executive director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Event | Affordable Housing, Environmental Justice

NYCHA and the Hurricane: Public Housing Learns from Sandy (2013) 

The wrenching experience of thousands of New York's public housing residents following Hurricane Sandy revealed vulnerabilities of physical structures and human services. Volunteers, tenant associations, social service providers and NYCHA technicians all stepped in to do what they could through the worst of the aftermath. What did we learn? What about next time? What will a carefully planned and managed disaster response look like in New York City's low-lying, low-income neighborhoods?

John Rhea, chairman, New York City Housing Authority (NYHCA); Wally Bazemore, Red Hook community organizer; Jennifer Jones Austin, executive director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies; Eric Klinenberg, professor of sociology, NYU and New Yorker contributor; Constantine Kontokosta, founding director, NYU Center for the Sustainable Built Environment; Andrew White, director, Center for New York City Affairs at The New School

Event | Affordable Housing 

The Future of Public Housing in for New York City: 
What Washington's new vision means for New York City (2013) 

The New York City Housing Authority manages 178,000 apartments with more than 420,000 official residents, and by most accounts a budget that's inadequate to the essential tasks of operation and upkeep. The federal government is moving steadily away from permanent housing supports to new models. What's Washington's vision, and how does it affect New York, where public housing has long provided residential stability for families and economic vitality for neighborhood businesses? What are the likely trade-offs of NYCHA's recent proposal to overcome budget shortfalls by spurring development on open spaces in public housing developments?

David Gilmore, HUD-appointed administrative receiver, Housing Authority of New Orleans; Rosie Mendez, member, New York City Council, District 2 (Lower East Side); Damaris Reyes, executive director, Good Old Lower East Side; tenant advocate, Baruch Houses Tenant Association; Julia Vitullo-Martin, senior fellow, Regional Plan Association; director, Center for Urban Innovation; Emily Youssouf, vice-chair, New York City Housing Authority; Errol Louis, NY1 News

Event |Affordable Housing, New York City Politics

Community-Based Planning: The Future of Development in New York (2011)

For decades, deliberations over land use in New York City have included developers, community boards, elected officials, and city agencies such as the Department of City Planning. Do the people who live and work in city neighborhoods have a sufficient voice? Do residents improve the process or impede progress? Who is best positioned to determine a neighborhood's needs, and what are the best structures for public participation? What does the future hold for the city as it recovers from the current recession?

Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President
Richard W. Eaddy, Vice Chairman, City Planning Commission and Senior Managing Director, Studley Inc.
Paul Graziano, Principal, Associated Cultural Resource Consultants
Jarrett Murphy, Editor, City Limits
Julia Vitullo Martin, Director, Center for Urban Innovation, Regional Plan Association (RPA)
David Shuffler, Executive Director, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice

Event | Affordable Housing, Civil Rights, Inequality & Income 

Race and the Subprime Crisis: The Future of Minority Neighborhoods (2009)

Some critics blame the Community Reinvestment Act for the mortgage meltdown that prompted the current deep recession. Others point to the abuses of subprime lending and Wall Street manipulation. Yet questions about the impact of the economic collapse on African American communities—and about the future of neighborhood stability, consumer access to credit, and the role of race in public policy—remain unanswered. As the federal government acts to reverse the economy's decline, what have we learned, and what does the future hold?

Hon. Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative (D-Calif.)
James Carr, COO, National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
Sarah Ludwig, Executive Director, NEDAP.
Louis Prezeau, President & CEO, City National Bank.
Moderated by Darrick Hamilton, assistant professor, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy.

Event | Affordable Housing 

Can NYC Keep Affordable Housing in Sight? (2009)

The current economic turmoil is taking a tremendous toll. Home foreclosures are common, market-rate condominium sales have stalled, owners of over-leveraged developments are defaulting, and unemployment is rising. This panel, explores the impact of the economic crisis on New York City housing by considering questions like the following: How are neighborhoods faring in the recession? Can Mayor Bloomberg's market-driven affordability incentives continue to work? Are there sufficient government resources to take advantage of declining real estate costs and other opportunities? What's working and what's next?

Rafael Cestero, Commissioner, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Martin Dunn, President, Dunn Development Corporation.
Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director, New York ACORN Housing Company, Inc.
Mark Willis, Visiting Scholar, Ford Foundation.
Moderated by Manny Fernandez, reporter, The New York Times.