New NYU database sheds light on affordable housing subsidies

HPD Commissioner Mathew Wambua

New York University’s Furman Center of Real Estate and Urban Policy has compiled the first known comprehensive database of the city’s affordable housing stock that links the units to the agencies that subsidize them. The Wall Street Journal reported that it is available on the Furman website beginning today.

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By highlighting the origin of affordable housing subsidies, across the city, state and federal agencies that contributed data, the database provides a clearer picture of when the funding expires and the units can be converted to market rate. According to the database, one-quarter of the city’s 171,000 affordable units could begin charging market rates in the next five years unless subsidies are renewed. Eleven thousand affordable units could expire in the next few years simply because they are funded by programs that no longer exist.

“This allows us to think systemically about the timing of expiration of units,” Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew Wambua said of the new database. As The Real Deal reported in its September issue, the city is working to achieve affordable housing preservation goals despite budget cuts. [WSJ]

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