NYU Launches Subsidized Housing
An new interactive database with extensive information on nearly 235,000 units of privately-owned subsidized rental housing in New York city has been launched by NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and its Institute for Affordable Housing Policy. The Subsidized Housing Information Project (SHIP) gives local nonprofits and advocates a valuable new tool in their efforts to preserve affordable housing in their communities. SHIP consolidates information from 50 separate public and private data sources into one searchable website, now available at: http://www.furmancenter.org/data/search.
The new resource is the result of an ongoing, multi-year partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Additionally, with support from the New York City Council, community-based organizations will be trained on how to effectively use the database in preservation efforts.
"The launch of this critical new tool demonstrates the extraordinary commitment of all the involved agencies to affordable housing preservation,” said Vicki Been, faculty director of the Furman Center. "SHIP will arm policy makers with the information they need to create effective and fair preservation policies to protect the more than 171,000 low- and moderate-income New York City households that rely on these subsidy programs for quality, affordable housing.”
SHIP allows government agencies, housing and community advocates, the media, and the public to access extensive information on every privately-owned, publicly-subsidized affordable property developed with four key government programs: HUD financing and insurance, HUD project-based rental assistance, the New York City and New York State Mitchell-Lama programs, or Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). The Furman Center's Institute for Affordable Housing Policy has also released a set of online resources to help users navigate the SHIP database, including a Directory of New York City's Affordable Housing Programs.
One vital function of the database is to track subsidized housing units that are at risk of expiring out of regulatory agreements. The Institute for Affordable Housing Policy's accompanying report, State of New York City's Subsidized Housing: 2011, uses SHIP data to identify 227 properties throughout the city that are at-risk of expiring out of affordability programs by the end of 2015. While many, if not most, property owners are unlikely to opt out of their subsidy programs, 34 properties containing more than 10,300 units are in non-renewable programs, indicating that new subsidies will likely be required in order to maintain affordability.
"Preservation has been a clear priority for the Bloomberg Administration, and through the Mayor's housing plan we have already preserved more than 81,300 units of affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. "The SHIP has given us a valuable new tool to help carry on our preservation efforts.”
"The SHIP database will help us better pinpoint properties that could benefit from the access to capital HDC can provide,” said HDC President Marc Jahr. "The ability to use the data as an advance warning system will help us make the most of these preservation investment opportunities, and serve as one of the best tools we have to recapture or extend affordability."
The New York City Council supported the SHIP to ensure that tenants, advocates and Council Members can proactively develop timely preservation strategies that will protect affordable housing units at-risk of expiring. "The Subsidized Housing Information Project is an invaluable tool that will serve as a red alert system for affordable housing by making tenants aware of when their protections are set to run out,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
The SHIP was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the F.B. Heron Foundation, NYU Law Alumnus Herbert Z. Gold ('40) and the New York City Council.