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CHPC New York

Our Projects

You can access all of CHPC’s major topics of research here.

Queensbridge NYCHA

This year, CHPC has embarked on a project to examine how New York City can create more aspirational communities. 

“Aspirational communities” = communities that can lift people out of poverty and help them to prosper.

Over the past 30 years, the number of homeless individuals in New York City has increased almost five-fold from approximately 7,500 in 1982 to over 36,000 in 2011. Families have experienced this increase even more acutely. In 1982 there were over 1,000 homeless families in shelter, by 2013 there were 11,000 families, an eleven-fold increase. For those with children, the average length of stay in … Read more…


Like many New Yorkers, CHPC was affected by Hurricane Sandy both directly and indirectly.  Our offices in Lower Manhattan were closed for a week because we were without power, and we lost our Verizon internet and phone connections for months.  Our physical impacts were minor compared to what many others experienced.  Thanks to a generous grant from the Charles H. Revson Foundation we were able to devote our time and resources to identifying the most effective ways help the City’s most impacted communities recover from the devastation of the storm.

Established the Nonprofit Stakeholders Group

We reached out to our … Read more…


Zone A New York: How the Environment and Home Meet After Sandy

Through our William R. Ginsberg Practitioner Fellowship Program, Joseph Pupello is spearheading the creation of a new non-profit organization, Zone A New York. Zone A New York comprises housing and environmental experts, anchored by CHPC Board Members, and community representatives working to insure that direct recovery and resilience planning in Metropolitan New York Coastal Flood Threat Zones A and V takes place in the most expeditious and comprehensive way possible. Zone A New York recognizes community needs, the value of natural infrastructure, and the use of ecosystem … Read more…


The objective of this study is to identify and better understand how New York City neighborhood-level housing markets, as represented by housing prices, rent burden, median rents and crowding, react to the city’s changing demography. A clear understanding of the interrelationship between demographics and housing at the neighborhood level, which we call in this analysis “neighborhood context,” is of critical importance to policy and planning professionals.

Using recently released 2010 census as the basis for analysis, we propose to update and expand upon the valuable work previously undertaken by The New York City Departments of Planning (DCP) and Housing Preservation … Read more…


The City of New York has been a forceful innovator in its use of real estate tax incentives to both encourage the new construction of housing and ensure the renovation of its existing older housing stock.

By utilizing an aggressive legislative agenda over the decades, the City has created myriad tax programs to address a wide range of housing needs, from the new construction of market rate housing, to aiding the long term financial viability of projects serving the poorest people with special needs.

Despite the success of these strategies, they have been criticized in recent years for giving away … Read more…

sinking house

View latest chart

We are continuously tracking the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which examines the rise and fall of single family home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas of the United States and have designed our own chart to offer a useful analysis of the data as soon as it is released each month.

The chart is designed to track single family home prices in the New York City area, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Case Shiller Index of the 20 major metropolitan areas. We also include a trend line that shows how the index for the 20 … Read more…


In 1996 New York City put into place a new method for collecting real estate taxes. The 1996 legislation allowed for the sale of residential tax liens and at the same time identified buildings with both tax liens and housing problems that would be better preserved through transfer to new ownership with the appropriate rehabilitation finance and subsidies to ensure its financial viability.

At the time the approach was innovative and ambitious as it sought to improve real estate tax collection, derive value from tax liens rather simply foreclose on them, and at the same time apply the extensive experience … Read more…


You can read all of the latest news from the Zoning Committee here – including our public testimonies.… Read more…


Back in September 2007, we devoted our first ever new ‘Inside Edge’ publication to examine the escalating sub-prime issue, and to predict how the financial instability was going to affect housing and community development in NYC. As the economic crisis became a reality, we have continued to use our expertise to conduct unique research and analysis to reveal the real impacts of the recession on the housing industry.

You can keep track of CHPC’s work in this issue here.… Read more…


After Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village were purchased, a group of tenants brought legal action to challenge the new owners’ ability to take apartments out of rent stabilization through the “luxury decontrol” rules which came into effect in 1993. Under that provision of the law, when rents exceed $2,000 on vacancy or when an existing tenant’s income exceeds $175,000 and the rent for their apartment exceeds $2,000, the owner can apply to DHCR to remove that apartment from rent stabilization.

We have followed the case since 2007, when Judge Richard B. Lowe of the New York State Supreme Court … Read more…


The real estate bubble of 2003 – 2008 has impacted the country and New York City. Back in September 2007, we devoted our first new ‘Inside Edge’ publication to examine the escalating sub-prime issue, and to predict how the financial instability was going to affect housing and community development in NYC.

New York City ended up experiencing not only a foreclosure crisis in single family homes, but also a crisis in over mortgaged multifamily buildings. For the last several years many multifamily properties in New York City have been carrying debt that exceeds their ability to pay and unique CHPC … Read more…


You can read all of the latest news here about our groundbreaking Making Room initiative.… Read more…


More than 200,000 units of affordable housing have been rehabilitated or newly constructed in the last 20 years with subsidies from New York City through its Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Housing Development Corporation. Prevailing wages were required only where federal funds, like the Community Development Block Grant Program or most HOME funds, directly subsidized the construction.  Affordable housing projects financed from other sources, notably City Capital Budget, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, tax exempt and taxable private activity bonds, and certain federally funded HOME projects, do not trigger prevailing wage requirements.

Today, there is a debate as … Read more…


“Bring your paint brush and your lawyer – you will need both.”

Landlords and homeowners now face so much new red tape, thanks to the EPA’s new layer of regulations. The US Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has just issued a new rule on addressing lead-based paint during renovations. Adding to an already complex regulatory regime, this new set of rules governing lead-based paint, phases in implementation between June 23, 2008 and April 22, 2010. Covering the same ground as the repair and renovation portions of New York City’s Local Law 1 of 2004 (LL 1), but with different procedures and … Read more…


In 2009, CHPC established a standing committee to examine issues around green building construction and retrofitting. Since Mayor Bloomberg launched PlaNYC – a long-term sustainability plan for the city – there have been a number of new legislative initiatives designed to incentivize or require buildings to incorporate green features. CHPC’s Green Building Committee, chaired by Bill Stein, principal of Dattner Architects, has been examining and testifying on the proposed legislation.

Over the next two years, we will be focusing on a variety of ways to put forward four main priorities for our committee: to continue to raise awareness of … Read more…


Gentrification is a term imbued with an assumption about the negative impact of demographic change and neighborhood improvement on existing residents.

In an effort to add a new dimension to the gentrification debate, CHPC conducted a study in 2002 that played a pivotal role in the gentrification debate of the last decade.  Frank Braconi, former Executive Director of CHPC, along with Lance Freeman of Columbia University wrote “Gentrification and Displacement: New York City in the 1990’s (pdf). Braconi and Freeman used survey data to estimate the migration patterns of poor New Yorkers in neighborhoods that people associate with … Read more…

City Charter

Following Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement that a new City Charter Revision Commission had been appointed in March 2010, we formed a Charter Revision Sub-committee of our board to put together a position paper on our main priorities in the Charter. Our main focus was to request that the Commission looks into ways to better integrate long-term, citywide planning objectives of PlaNYC within the structure and the processes of New York City government.

The sub-committee was made up of a great mix of developers, architects, planners and affordable housing funders and we met several times, and debated fiercely, in order to bring … Read more…


New York City’s residential building owners pay a disproportionate share of the City’s water and sewer infrastructure.

Although most believe that their water and sewer costs are based on water consumption, by 2009 only 46% of the average water and sewer bill will reflect actual usage, while 45% will go towards the cost of infrastructure maintenance and construction. In 2 years, infrastructure costs will exceed the operating costs of the system itself and will continue to grow through 2020. As a result, if water usage declines, the cost to the users (or rate payers) actually will rise to keep pace … Read more…


Even before the country’s desperate economic situation was fully realized,  American families were already in an increasingly vulnerable position; facing housing shortages and rising rent burdens across the country.

Much of this vulnerability can be attributed to problems endemic to all housing markets, but the current state of distress has become even more acute due to the declining support of the federal government.

With no significant new public housing added to the inventory since the late 1970s, working families have been increasingly faced with overcrowded, poor conditions while very often paying more than 30 percent of their household incomes just … Read more…

By: David Rabinowitz

In 1952, the Assistant District Attorney of New York City declared that “more than 30,000 families in New York are living in illegal cellar apartments under the most horrible conditions which are a constant threat to the health of the community as breeding places of contagious disease.”

Over 50 years later, and following a century of increasingly strict regulations dictating the standards of our housing, illegal occupancy of buildings by New Yorkers is still rife.

There are two main forms of illegal occupancy:
1) Households who are living in spaces not legal for residential use. This includes, for example, households … Read more…