Archive for Publications

Revisit: Prevailing Wage Report


As time goes on, we continue to see the increased importance of considering how prevailing wage could affect affordable housing. In 2008, CHPC released a report called Prevailing Wisdom:The Potential Impact of Prevailing Wages. It includes analysis of existing studies, applicable data sets, and incorporation of information from a small sample of affordable housing projects in NYC.

Our main conclusion is that a requirement to pay prevailing wages reduces the amount and affordability of subsidized housing, while doing little to improve the real problems faced by workers in the construction industry in general.

The report makes the following recommendations:

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New Report: Pump Up the Volume


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PUMP UP THE VOLUME: Recommendations to Improve the Allocation of Private Activity Bonds to Better Support Housing in New York State

Over 49,000 units of affordable housing have been created in New York City using tax-exempt private activity bonds (PABs) in the past nine years, and this resource will continue to be an important component for Mayor De Blasio’s Housing Plan to be a success.

However, while information on other City, State and Federal housing resources is readily available, there has been limited publicly available information on the allocation, demand and use of PABs in New York State.

The …

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Making Sense of Term Sheets

termHPD and HDC recently released new term sheets outlining their new housing programs. The term sheets reflect the administration’s housing policy goals, such as broadening the range of incomes served through affordable housing programs and increasing the number of units that are set aside for homeless households. There is also a strong focus on cost containment and reducing the amount of subsidy per unit in order to stretch existing resources, as well as encouraging more competition among developers.

CHPC has prepared a summary of the new term sheets which allows users to view their main characteristics side by side and …

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Making Neighborhoods


Click the image to access the interactive Making Neighborhoods map


On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, CHPC launched its Making Neighborhoods project, which follows change across the city by putting people at the center of analysis. Our work measures and visualizes the movements of groups of New Yorkers who share demographic characteristics.

The project uses cluster analysis methodology–common in economic or marketing studies–to identify 14 distinct demographic groups, or “population clusters,” in 2000 and follow their locations in 2010. By comparing the two years, we can see which population types grew in number or geographic size, or moved into …

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All Green Buildings Great and Small



By Ilene Popkin, Senior Fellow


Over the last year, we have conducted a wide-ranging industry study looking at the efficacy of the current energy efficiency programs for New York City’s rental housing stock.

CHPC’s Green Building Committee – comprising industry leaders in architecture, development, planning, finance, and engineering – agreed that there are many good programs and talented practitioners with substantial technical expertise working to make greener and more sustainable housing stock a reality. But they shared a concern that owners of small to mid-size buildings (5-49 units) were failing to …

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The Building Envelope Conundrum


The de Blasio administration’s newly announced Housing New York plan has set many ambitious goals for the development of new housing in the city – and has acknowledged that extra floor area for residential construction will be necessary.

CHPC’s board members are on the front lines of developing affordable housing. As such, they provide valuable insights into how the city can construct more housing, and improve its design and quality.

Recently, some of our board members had begun to raise an issue they had been experiencing that was constraining residential development. The rules that define the building envelope within contextual …

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