How is Affordable Housing Threatened in Your Neighborhood? 2015

The affordable housing risk chart is released each year with a variety of indicators of key threats to affordable housing in our city, laid-out at a neighborhood-by-neighborhood level in a user-friendly visual format.

ANHD today released the 2015 edition of our annual risk chart: How is Affordable Housing Threatened in Your Neighborhood? Each year the chart takes a variety of indicators of threats to affordable housing and lays them out at a community-district level in a user-friendly format. We hope this analysis is helpful to community groups and policy makers as they develop effective strategies to address the affordable housing crisis in the city and in their neighborhood.

We are struck by the following trends shown in this year’s data chart:

  • Real estate speculation is a key driver of the loss of affordability, and this year’s chart has a new data indicator on the increase in sales prices per square foot of residential buildings from 2005-2010.
  • The number of families entering the shelter system from each community, another new data category in the chart, illustrates the severity of affordability threats. A total of 25 Community Districts, spanning all five Boroughs had more than 100 families enter the shelter system in 2014.
  • Many neighborhoods have large numbers of affordable housing built with city and federal subsidy in danger of going market-rate in the next few years.
  • Foreclosure is still a significant problem in many communities with smaller 1-4 family homes.

With affordable housing at such great risk, we would like to draw attention to two important Council-funded programs-the Housing Preservation Initiative (HPI) and Community Consultant Contracts (CCC) that help address the housing crisis, and one key mayoral-funded program that is at risk, the Neighborhood Preservation Consultant Program (NPCP).

Affordable housing is lost in different ways in different neighborhoods, and the strategy to prevent that loss should also be locally specific. HPI supports these local strategies.  The CCC initiative is the core funding for front-line, anti-eviction specialists working across the city to keep residents in their homes. In 2014/15 alone, these groups had contact with 67,000 New Yorkers in need, counseling 15,000, preventing nearly 1,000 evictions, and preserving 2,000 units that could otherwise have been lost to market rates.

The mayoral-funded NPCP program also supports core community strategies to combat displacement, but has unfortunately been significantly cut in recent years so it no longer supports this work at the levels needed.

In order to best achieve our goals of reducing the City’s housing crisis, we must invest in the local neighborhoods partners who are on the ground and will be more important than ever in helping protect tenants and stabilize neighborhoods and communities.

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