1 Dear Friends, The past year has been a time of great growth and excitement at the Furman Center. In February, Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacA rthur Foundation, joined us to make a major address on affordable housing and to announce a new $25 Million investment to support research exploring the ways that housing affects children, families, and communities. In April, we released our annual State of the New York City's Housin g and Neighborhoods report featuring a unique analysis of homeownership trends in New York Ci ty. And just last month, we released a policy brief on the impacts that Business Improvement Districts have on the value of properties within their district, and what th is means for City policy. d the size of our staff, broadened the scope of Over the past year, we have significantly increase our research and developed a new policy brief series to articulate how our work can be useful for those working to improve housing and neighborhood s. We are building off of this momentum as we dive into our fall research. Our agenda incl udes a number of studies that will provide new empirical analysis on critical issues facing the Ci s of foreclosures to the ty today. From the impact performance of inclusionary zoning programs, we year to be of great expect our research this City and around the country. value to policymakers in New York for their significant guidance We are very grateful to our funders and to our Board of Advisors who worked with us students and support. Many thanks also to the nearly thirty Law and Wagner this past year--we certainly could not have acco mplished what we did without their hard work. We are always eager to get your feedback, questions, and new ideas so please stay in touch. Vicki Been & Ingrid Gould Ellen Fall Research The Furman Center continues to evaluate whether and how publicly-financed housing investments drive change at the neighborhood leve l. This fall, two of our studies advance this work. The first explores the effects different kinds of supportive housing have on the value of rminants of neighborhood quality as crime and surrounding properties, as well as on such dete t contribution to the controversy that surrounds building activity. This analysis will be an importan the approval of supportive housing facilities. The second, a joint project with NYU's Institute for Education and Social Policy, examines the impact that the City's housing in vestments have had on local school s. Have they crowded existing schools or spurred the opening of new schools? Have they changed the characteristics of the students enrolled in the neighborhood schools? Have they affected test scores or other measures of school quality? Led to changes in the resour ces available to the neighborhood schools? In short, while everyone knows that better school s lead to better neighb orhoods, were asking whether better housing leads to better schools. For the past year, the Furman Center has been a part of the national conversation surrounding subprime lending and the risk and impact of mortga ge foreclosures. To help advance this crucial dialogue with empirical evidence, the Furman Center is studying what costs foreclosures impose on the surrounding neighborhoods. We also are examining how neighborhood characteristics and housing market conditions affe ct what happens to borrowers who fall behind on mortgage payments, and whether borrowers who rely on subpr ime loans tend to fare better or worse than prime borrowers in resolving loan distress.
2 At the request of the Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference, we also are inclusionary zoning programs on housing prices, completing a study that examines the effects of rents, and the production of both market-rate and affordable housing in three metropolitan As inclusionary zoning programs proliferate in areas: San Francisco, Boston and Washington DC. New York City and around the nation, the study will provide crucial data on how such programs actually have worked. The Furman Center also is completing a study examining the effects community gardens have on local governments make the value of surrounding properties. We hope th is research will help more informed decisions about whether and how to invest in community gardens and other green spaces. Finally, we are researching how the City promot es (or fails to adequately promote) synergies between economic development an d affordable housing, and what could be done to further ensure that these goals are pursued in tandem. For more information about these studies, or to learn about our other research, please visit our website. NYC Data and Info rmation Resources Part of our mission is to provide essential data and analysis on New York City's housing and neighborhoods to the greater land use, real es tate and housing community. The Furman Center and manages two websites to help us achieve that goal: www.plannyc.com . www.NYCHANIS.com In the past year, we have doubled the number of development projects profiled on PlanNYC and increased the number of unique visitors by more than 50%. In March, PlanNYC was selected by Planetizen, a public interest website for the urban planning community, as one of the top 10 online resources for those interested in planning, design, and development. These accomplishments notwithstanding, there is still room for improvement and we are in the midst of major overhauls to both PlanNYC and NYCHANIS. The redesigns will increase the sites the amount of data available to the public. usability, improve their look and feel, and expand Look for announcements regarding the re-launch of these sites later this year. Furman Center in the News We value our role as an objective source of data and analysis for the public, and are gratified to see the media increasingly using our work. Below is a sampling of articles that have featured Furman Center findings or data analysis over the last few months: : The New York Post interviews Furman Center Research Fellow N.Y. Foreclosure Frenzy stand the subprime industry. Solomon Greene to better under New Report Could Boost BIDs : The New York Sun explores the findings of the Furman Center's report on how BIDs impact property values. BIDs Raise Commercial Property Values : Crain's New York features the release of the Furman Center's report on the effect s of Business Improvement Districts. Jamaica Tops City in Foreclosures: Defaults Don't Bring Disaster to Queens Neighborhood Buttressed by Strong Market : The Real Deal features Furman Center data on subprime lending.
3 Record Number Now Own Their Homes : The New York In a City Known for Its Renters, a reports on New York City's rise in homeownership rates, featuring the Furman Times Center's analysis and commentary by Vicki Been. New York Observer article, Mayor's Green Speech Asks to Build 500,000 Units : in this mponent of Mayor Bloomberg's 2030 plan. Vicki Been responds to the housing co A Most Exclusive Club : The New York Times covers the Furman Center's research on the extent to which average New Yorkers have been priced out of homeownership. features the Furman Center's analysis Sub-Prime Loan Bubble in City : The New York Post of subprime lending, published in the 2006 State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods report. NYC Foreclosure Rates Hit : Reuters highlights Furman Center research on subprime uding commentary by Furman Center Research lending and foreclosure starts in NYC, inlc Fellow Jenny Schuetz.. interviews Ingrid Gould Ellen on the major Sub-Prime Market Heads Skyward : WNYC findings in the 2006 State of the City. covers the release of the 2006 City Home Ownership More Elusive, Report Says : Metro State of the City report and highlight s the loss of affordable homeownership opportunities in NYC. interviews Ingrid Gould Ellen on the The Brian Lehrer Show Crowded Houses : WNYC's problem of overcrowding in the City. Mortgage Woes Pass by New York, for Now : The New York Sun features Solomon Greene's commentary on subprime lending trends. interviews Jenny Schuetz about Renting Rooms, Buying a Dream : The NY Daily News strategies to achieving homeownership. Events Last spring, our Housing and Land Use Policy Breakfa st series focused on the question of how to create new land for housing in a city with an extreme scarcity of vacant land. We explored creative strategies for building affordable hous ing on publicly-owned, underutilized land, such as above post offices or libraries. We also examin ed how non-profits and churches are partnering with affordable housing providers to develop un-us ed FAR (floor area ratio) on property they featuring speakers such as Manhattan Borough own. It was a lively and productive discussion, fice of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, President Scott Stringer; the head of the Mayor's Of ight Frank, James Kuhn; and other leading Rohit Aggarwala; the President of Newmark Kn housing developers and advocates. developers, city officials, affordable This fall, our breakfast series will examine the ro le that community gardens and open space play in neighborhood economic development, and ex plore the policy tools the City could use to preserve and create new open space. The breakfasts are scheduled for November 7th and December 5th.
4 Recent and Forthcoming Publications The past year has seen an increase in the volume of Furman Center papers. The following articles and book chapters will be released this year: The Effect of Community Gardens on Neighboring Property Values. Vicki Been and Ioan Real Estate Economics , forthcoming. Voicu. Reversal of Fortunes? Low In come Neighborhoods in the 1990s. Ingrid Gould Ellen and , forthcoming. Urban Studies Katherine ORegan. What do Business Improvement Districts do for Property Owners? Ingrid Gould Ellen, National Tax Journal, Papers and Proceedings , Rachel Meltzer, and Amy Ellen Schwartz. forthcoming. Guarding the Town Walls: Mechanisms and Mo tives for Restricting Multifamily Housing in , forthcoming. Real Estate Economics Massachusetts. Jenny Schuetz. The Impact of Business Improvement District s on Property Values: Evidence from New Brookings Wharton York City. Ingrid Gould Ellen, Am y Ellen Schwartz, and Ioan Voicu. , 2007. Papers on Urban Affairs Government Policies and Household Size: Evid ence from New York. Ingrid Gould Ellen Population Research and Policy Review 26(4), 2007: 387-409. with Brendan OFlaherty. press Property Values? Ingrid Gould Ellen Does Federally-Subsidized Rental Housing De Journal of Policy Analysis and with Michael Schill, Amy Schwartz, and Ioan Voicu. , 26(2), 2007: 257-280. Management Understanding Segregation in the Year 2000. In grid Gould Ellen. In James H. Carr and . Routledge, Segregation: The Rising Costs for America Nandinee Kutty, editors, forthcoming. Do Economically Integrated Neighborhoods Have Economically Integrated Schools? Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Le anna Stiefel. In Howard Wial, Hal Wolman, Urban and Regional Policy and Its Joseph Cordes, and Margery Austin Turner, editors, . Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, forthcoming. Effects Spillovers and Subsidized Housing: The Im pact of Subsidized Rental Housing on Revisiting Eric Belsky and Nicolas Retsinas, Eds., Neighborhoods. Ingrid Gould Ellen. In . Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, forthcoming. Rental Housing
5 Staff and Faculty This fall, we are delighted to welcome a numbe r of new faces to the Furman Center. Josiah Madar joined us as a new Law Fellow. Josiah is an alum of NYU Law School and is coming to us from Davis Polk and Wardwell where he has been practicing real estate law for a number of omics Fellow. She comes to us from the Brattle years. Kitty Kay Chan joined us as a new Econ Group, an economic consulting firm in Washin gton D.C. This summer, we also hired Stephen Roberts, a recent graduate of NYU's Robert F. Wa gner School of Public Service, as a full time Data Manager -- a new, critic al position for the Center. of the Furman Center team, Ioan Voicu. Ioan Unfortunately, we are losing an important member has been with the Furman Center for seven ye ars, during which time he made tremendous contributions to the Center's research. We wish hi m well as he takes on an exciting position at the US Department of the Treasury in Washington DC. We also want to recognize the growing number of faculty and adjunct faculty from around NYU research. We are especially grateful to Kathy who have partnered with the Furman Center on y Salama and Leanna Stiefel. O'Regan, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Jerr Spotlight on Funders of our funders this year, which include: Our work would not be possible with the support Bank of America Bank of New York Citibank Deutsche Bank Enterprise Foundation Housing Partnership Development Corporation JP Morgan Chase Lincoln Institute for Land Policy Local Initiatives Support Corporation MacArthur Foundation National Housing Conference New York State Association For Affordable Housing Surdna Foundation Washington Mutual We especially need to thank the Housing Pa rtnership Development Corporation, which has generously funded a new Future Leaders in Co mmunity Development Fellowship. With their support, we will be able to expand the number of Law and Wagner students who work with us in on the coming year. HPDC will anno unce this new fellowship at its 25th Anniversary Luncheon October 24th. We encourage al l those who can to attend.