NHC Tools Address Housing Needs, Foreclosure Crisis
As part of their efforts to provide “solutions-focused” tools and resources for housing practitioners and policymakers, the National Housing Conference (NHC) and its research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, last week released three research briefs in a new series entitled “Insights From Housing Policy Research.”
The studies were:
- “‘Don’t Put It Here!’ Do Subsidized Housing Developments Cause Property Values to Decline” — With a special focus on work by Ingrid Ellen — associate professor of public policy and urban planning and co-director of the New York University Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy — the research shows that affordable housing on the whole does not usually have an adverse impact on the value of neighboring properties and may actually improve them in some cases. Key factors that are associated with stable or increased property values include an attractive design that blends with the surrounding neighborhood and strong property management.
- “Taking Stock: The Role of ‘Preservation Inventories’ in Preserving Affordable Rental Housing” — This brief examines how states and localities — including Cook County, Ill., Florida, New York City, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. — are using data analysis to preserve the stock of affordable rental housing. “Preservation inventories” collect available data on the existing affordable rental housing stock, making it easier for communities to identify properties that are at risk of being lost as a result of physical deterioration or the expiration of affordability limits.
- “The Well-Being of Low-Income Children: Does Affordable Housing Matter?” — The report profiles the research program of Sandra J. Newman — professor of policy studies at Johns Hopkins University, chair of the Graduate Program in Public Policy and director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies — examining how affordable housing affects children and families. As discussed in the brief, a recent Newman research project found that children in unaffordable housing markets may not fare any worse than children living in affordable housing markets. This is perhaps because they benefit from living in communities that have better schools and neighborhood amenities. However, Newman stresses that more research is needed to better understand these findings.
Online Guide Focuses on Foreclosure Prevention
In addition, in partnership with KnowledgePlex, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Urban Institute, the center for Housing Policy launched ForeclosureResponse.org, a new online guide to foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization, geared to helping communities address pressing housing needs.
“Getting Started” answers questions about foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization such as “What types of loans are most at risk of foreclosure?” and “Who is responsible for maintaining foreclosed properties?”
The “Policy Guide” presents high-impact solutions that can help states and localities prevent and respond to foreclosures.
And the “Maps and Data” section of the site allows users to create maps identifying which areas have a high-priority need for foreclosure prevention or neighborhood stabilization assistance, as well as indicating the relative strength of the housing market in the areas.
The Center for Housing Policy last week also announced the launch of HousingPolicy.org Discussion Forum, an online tool to help users quickly and easily share ideas, innovations and questions about housing policy. The forum is available through both HousingPolicy.org — the center’s online guide to state and local housing solutions — and its new sister site, ForeclosureResponse.org.