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Housing

“New York City has a housing supply problem, yet there’s plenty of space for more housing. Is there a solution to this?”

“New York City has a housing supply problem, yet there’s plenty of space for more housing. Is there a solution to this?”

Excerpts from three New York Times articles on the city’s housing crisis New York City’s Housing Crunch is the Worst It Has Been in Over 50 Years By Mihir Zaveri Feb. 8, 2024 The portion of rentals that were vacant and available dropped to a… Read More »“New York City has a housing supply problem, yet there’s plenty of space for more housing. Is there a solution to this?”

Unequal Ground: The Racialized Landscape of Land Ownership and Federal Buyouts in the United States

In the face of climate change’s far-reaching impacts, the notion of land as an unyielding and permanent resource has been shattered and replaced by a landscape in flux. Rising sea levels, intensified flooding, and other climate-related events have cast a shadow over the stability of our land, compelling us to rethink our approaches and policies in response to these evolving challenges.

One such approach is managed retreat, a concept entailing the relocation of human settlements and infrastructure from vulnerable or high-risk areas due to environmental factors. Within managed retreat, various strategies are employed, including acquisition and buyouts, zoning and land-use regulations, land swaps, and community engagement.

Fiscal Weakness of Managed Retreat: Inequities and Local Disincentives

Climate change poses a significant threat to numerous regions in the United States, rendering them increasingly uninhabitable due to rising sea levels, flooding, wildfires, and more. As a response to this challenge, managed retreat has emerged as a strategy to relocate affected households, neighborhoods, and even communities away from harm’s way. Although managed retreat can involve a number of processes, the use of buyouts––the voluntary purchasing of private properties using public funds (which is intended to spur the relocation of at-risk households to lower risk locations), is a critical (and in many places, virtually the only) tool in a policy maker’s toolbox.

While physically moving people out of harm’s way makes intuitive sense, the real world applications of managed retreat-related buyouts are highly complex, emotional, and fraught with weighty fiscal and equity implications. Here we explore some basic financial considerations of managed retreat, shedding light on the challenges faced by affected municipalities and fundamental flaws in the system as a whole.

Greenspace and Gentrification: How to ensure that urban parks & gardens benefit everyone

In this article we explore the complex question of how to ensure that greenspace and other urban amenities will actually benefit the communities to which they are targeted. We will highlight the many benefits of urban greenspace, explore the lesser-known implications for both nearby house prices and the rents faced by tenants, and discuss ways to ensure that the attractive greenspaces are financed by those households who they benefit most while also making sure that vulnerable tenants also share in their many desirable social and environmental outcomes.

A letter from the Executive Director

Fall is here once again.  This change of seasons typically evokes thoughts of colorful leaves; nights by the fire, hot cocoa in hand; and the impending holiday season.  This fall, however, larger, more distressing trends are overshadowing these fanciful notions in many people’s minds.  

Inflation has us paying more – much more – for everything from the food we feed our families, to the gas we put in our cars, to the insurance policies we purchase to safeguard our assets.  And when it comes to our homes (often cited as most Americans’ largest asset) more and more buyers find themselves priced out of a housing market that is increasingly dominated by corporate investors with all cash offers, looking to turn a dual profit as landlords and owners of physical assets that can be borrowed against with ease.

This Tax Makes All Other Taxes Redundant (Part II)

In the Netherlands, the government is trying to combat the housing crisis with more subsidies for first time house buyers. But this will only make prices go up even more. There is a better solution, which would make housing cheaper for everyone: a land value tax. But as long as homeowners are in the majority, no politician dares to burn its fingers on this idea.