Without Housing Assistance, Victims of Domestic Violence Face Hard Choices, Report Says

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A new report finds without housing assistance more domestic violence victims are leaving city shelters without having a safe place to go.

Comments [2]

The Brian Lehrer Show

30 Issues Data: Visualizing Foreclosure

Monday, October 01, 2012

As part of the Brian Lehrer Show's 30 Issues in 30 Days series, the WNYC Data News team is designing interactive visualizations, tools and graphics to illuminate the data behind the issues. Join the full conversation on the lingering effects of the foreclosure crisis here.


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The Brian Lehrer Show

Homelessness Spike in NYC

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WNYC reporter Cindy Rodriguez discusses why there's been a spike in homelessness in New York.

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Low-Income Bronx Buildings Get Facelift

Monday, August 13, 2012

Five buildings in the Bronx, saved from abandonment in the 1970's have once again fallen into serious disrepair. But the properties are getting a major makeover that includes plans for a healthy restaurant or supermarket.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Pathways to Housing

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sam Tsemberis discusses founding Pathways to Housing in 1992, a program that addresses homelessness among people with psychiatric disabilities. Since its founding, Pathways has housed more than 600 people in New York alone, and the program maintains an 85% retention rate. In addition to its New York headquarters, Pathways to Housing now has program offices in Washington DC, Philadelphia and Vermont, and the Pathways Housing First model has been replicated in more than 40 cities across the United States, as well as in Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal.

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Long-Awaited Housing at Atlantic Yards Moves Forward

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The plan to build affordable housing at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn appears to be moving forward after the slumping economy caused major delays.  The city's Housing Development Corporation will hold a public hearing Wednesday on the sale of about $92 million in tax exempt bonds that will be used to finance more than 360 apartments.

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Take a Tour of a Tiny Living Space

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made some waves when he announced a design competition for a building full of "micro-units" — apartments between 275 and 300 square feet. While many New Yorkers have been crammed into apartments that size — or a bit larger — others would call 300 square feet palatial.

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Could Eminent Domain Resuscitate Underwater Homeowners?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A company called Mortgage Resolution Partners wants local governments to use eminent domain to help homeowners drowning in debt.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Phones: Your Micro-Apartment

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg announced a design competition for a building full of "micro-units" yesterday. Jerilyn Perine, executive director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council, explains what kinds of housing are needed in the city and which kinds of regulations are on the books.

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Developers Asked to Design City's Smallest Apartment

Monday, July 09, 2012

New York City apartments may get even smaller.

Comments [28]


Manhattan Home Prices Steady, But What's Selling Is Changing

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Home prices in Manhattan declined slightly in the second quarter of the year, but what's selling has changed significantly. More people are buying co-ops than condos, and smaller apartments now represent more than half of all sales.



A Lost Decade For American Families

Monday, June 11, 2012

American households got poorer in the first decade of the 21st century, largely because of the housing bust.



Evictions on the Rise in the City

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eviction rates increased in all boroughs except Manhattan in 2011, but nowhere was the problem as bad as in the Bronx.



Court Rejects Order for Mentally Ill Housing in NY

Friday, April 06, 2012

A federal appeals court on Friday reversed a judge's order making the state provide apartments and small homes to thousands of mentally ill people, questioning the scope of the order and delaying a resolution to a controversy that even the court acknowledged will continue.


The Brian Lehrer Show

New York's Worst Landlord

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and former longtime columnist at the Village Voice, and Harold Shultz, senior fellow at the Citizens Housing and Planning Council and former special counsel at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, discuss CUNY and City Limitsinvestigation into Frank Palazzolo,  the Bronx's "phantom landlord," and how to protect tenants from similar circumstances.  

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Transportation Nation

In Houston, Transportation Costs Can Outpace Housing Costs

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I-45 north of downtown Houston, one of the major arteries that brings commuters into the nation's fourth-largest city.

(Houston, TX -- Gail Delaughter, KUHF)  A new study shows many Houston neighborhoods considered as "affordable" may turn out to be a lot more expensive when you factor in the cost of transportation.  According to the figures, some people in and around the nation's fourth-largest city find themselves paying more to travel to work and school than they do for a place to live.

Using data from census block groups, the Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood technology calculates 25.4 percent of their income for a place to live. That's considered affordable under standards from the real estate industry and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

But when it comes to transportation costs, people in the region are shelling out close to 26 percent of their pay.  CNT's Scott Bernstein says it peaks out at 36 percent for commuters living in some of the far-flung areas, including the Bolivar Peninsula 50 miles to the southeast and Bay City about 80 miles to the southwest. Those commuters could find themselves in a situation where they're paying in excess of 60 percent of their income for the cost of location.

Bernstein says house hunters hit U.S. Highway 59 to the north, I-10 to the east and west,  and I-45 to the south, in a situation known as "drive until you qualify."

"You've found the more affordable house, but you might need to go to one to two cars per household.  And if you have a teenager in the house, and an extended family, maybe three cars per household.   Then all of a sudden the price of transportation is more than the cost of housing.  Your cost of housing may drop, but your net costs of housing versus transportation can go up."

Figures show households around Houston on average pay a little over $13,000 a year for transportation but Bernstein says a lot of people don't take these figures into consideration when putting together their financial plan.

He says you get a lot of information when you buy a house concerning property taxes and utility fees, but nothing concerning the costs of commuting.  Bernstein's organization is encouraging local governments and the real estate industry to adopt disclosure requirements so when properties go up for sale or rent, information about the "hidden" costs of transportation are made available.

Bernstein cites as an example the city of El Paso, Texas, which has passed an ordinance requiring that housing intended to be affordable not be located in areas with high transportation costs.

Bernstein says local planning agencies need to look at these costs when allocating resources for developing new modes of transportation. He says new transit lines would lower the cost of living for people who reside far from their jobs, and he says the cost of living will drop for many Houston-area residents once three new light rail lines begin operation.

As for educating prospective homeowners on the real cost of living, Bernstein says financial literacy programs also need to do a better job of helping people balance the cost of their dream home with the practical costs of getting around.


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Evictions Begin after City Housing Voucher Ends

Friday, March 09, 2012

The loss of a city housing voucher has left many poor tenants scrambling to keep a roof over their heads. The tenants — some of whom are elderly, frail or sick — had all been homeless and moved out to apartments with help from the voucher. Now that it has ended, tenants and landlords are struggling to cope.

Comments [11]

Transportation Nation

Study: Only 28 Percent of Neighborhoods Affordable

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In the typical definition of housing affordability, your rent or mortgage would be a third, or less, of your income.   And by that standard, some 76 percent of neighborhoods are affordable.  But when you add in transportation costs, the results are jarring:  fewer than a third of American neighborhoods -- just 28 percent -- are affordable.

Those results come by way of a new analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago -- and they're significantly worse than results CNT published a year ago -- which looked at older data, and a smaller sample size.  In the older study, 69 percent of homes were affordable, based on 2000 census data under the narrower definition, while 39 percent were affordable adding in transportation costs.

"It's very stark," said the CNT's Scott Bernstein, who spoke of traveling through the country and seeing "entire subdivisions that got built and were never occupied, or are empty because people moved out."

For the last five years, on average, Bernstein says 200,000 families moved in with another family.

And these figures don't take into account recent spikes in gas prices.

The data also show what a profound difference good transit makes to transportation costs.   In the New York-New Jersey region, the average transportation costs is $10,158 a year.  But in areas with good transit, that number plummets to $1985.  Areas with the least access to transit cost $19,003 a year.

In Houston, the range is $7958 on the low end, and $19181 on the high end.  In Orlando, it's $9203 and $17705.

And in San Francisco/Oakland, it's $5368 and $19709.

You can see a ranking of metro areas, by transportation costs, here.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Planning the Broadway Triangle

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The proposed Broadway Triangle development has been halted by a judge on grounds that it benefits part of the community more than another. Jerilyn Perine, executive director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council and former Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, explains how the Broadway Triangle project and other developments like it come to be, how interests are represented, and what might have gone wrong at the Brooklyn site. 

Comments [6]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Anita Hill on Home, Gender, and Race

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

When Anita Hill testified during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991, she sparked a national conversation on sexual harassment and women's equality in politics and the workplace. Now she turns her attention to another symbol of economic success and equality—the home. Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home looks at how the current housing crisis is devastating to families, communities, and cities.

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