Theses Master's

Examining the Extent to which Affordable Housing Development Acts as a Catalyst for Neighborhood Economic Development

Getz, Steven

The number of rent burdened households in New York City has increased significantly in the past three decades. This study examines the effect of affordable housing construction with regulatory agreement on neighborhood economic development and housing indicators. It attempts to disprove the myth that the construction of affordable housing leads to neighborhood decline. The changes in census tract variables on thirty, twenty, ten, and zero year intervals are regressed with the number of subsidized affordable housing units built per tract. Bivariate regression modeling was utilized for this study in an attempt to isolate the number of units of affordable housing which were added by tract to determine the specific effect of one variable, affordable housing units, on numerous housing and economic indicators. The results indicate that the type of regulatory agreement associated with the affordable units, the tenure of the residents, and the status of the developer all play a role as related to changes in housing and economic indicators. Additionally, various levels of changes are seen as occurring longitudinally, with the greatest positive effects of affordable housing unit construction seen at the ten and twenty year stages. From their respective categories, LIHTC, owner-occupied, and non-profit developed units yielded the strongest positive neighborhood housing and economic effects. However, the results of these distinctions were not ubiquitous across time frame or for every dependent variable examined. Overall, this study shows that subsidized affordable housing units are not equal in creating or preserving neighborhood economic and housing conditions, but rather are distinct in their actual effects based on a multitude of factors. This is in contrast to the overall negative perception of all subsidized housing units leading to neighborhood decline, destabilization, and sinking property values.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 12, 2017