One Fourth of East Harlem Housing Set to Lose Affordability

The area could lose up to 500 units of affordable housing every year for the next 30 years if the city doesn't extend existing protections.

2 minute read

August 9, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden

New York Apartments

Ryan DeBerardinis / Shutterstock

By 2040, affordability restrictions will expire for more than a fourth of all residential units in East Harlem, according to a new study by Regional Plan Association.

"A loss of regulated affordable housing of this magnitude would increase economic pressure on low and moderate-income residents," ultimately forcing many to leave, author Pierina Ana Sanchez warns in the abstract.

To prevent that outcome, the report proposes "requiring affordable housing created to guarantee affordability in perpetuity":

This can be done by restructuring existing programs, or supporting community and public ownership models including community land trusts, land lease agreements and expanded public housing … As urban areas become more attractive and new residents move in, there should be more efforts to shore up long-term residents’ ability to remain a part of the community.

It also locates opportunity in the Housing New York program, which will rezone the city to encourage residential development and to require inclusionary housing. Especially in gentrifying neighborhoods, those changes could create "a lab for the encouragement of inclusive and sustainable development."

The preservation of affordable housing is especially important to East Harlem and areas like it that have "historically welcomed people excluded by [overtly] discriminatory policies from living elsewhere," Sanchez notes:

Their displacement ultimately would be damaging for the city and for the entire region, which relies on having residents of diverse backgrounds, income levels and experiences to fill the range of jobs needed to make our economy function. And it would harm residents who would face leaving a community that is well connected to jobs, health care and education.

Friday, August 5, 2016 in Regional Plan Association

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of electric stove range with front burners red-hot.

California Cities Suspend Natural Gas Bans Following Court Ruling

A Ninth Circuit court ruling forced Berkeley to reverse its ban on natural gas in new buildings, prompting other cities to suspend their own efforts to promote all-electric buildings.

May 28, 2024 - East Bay Times

BART heavy rail train on elevated track pulling into Concord, CA station with cloudy sky and trees in background.

Bay Area Transit Projects Awarded $18 Million

The funding supports eight ‘near-term’ projects slated for completion within the next one to three years.

2 hours ago - Contra Costa Herald

Silver UTA On Demand transit van in Utah.

Utah On-Demand Transit Hits 1 Million Rides

The service connects outlying communities with fixed-route transit lines.

3 hours ago - Utah Transit Authority

Texas Flood

Texas Flood Plan Shows One in Six Residents Live With Flood Risk

One-fourth of the state’s land falls within 100-year or 500-year floodplains.

4 hours ago - The Texas Tribune

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.