In the Media
CHPC’s expertise has been valued for over 70 years and our non-partisan analysis and opinion features widely in the media. You can read all of our latest press mentions here.
Jerilyn Perine, a former HPD commissioner, tells City Limits in an email that a litany of challenges can make what looks like an obvious housing site into a costly if not impractical location. For a piece of land to work for housing, she says, “it has to not have very strange site conditions. The Bronx for example is famous for rock outcroppings and extreme contours that can make building infeasible.”
Perine, now the executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, continued: “The zoning has to be right, and you can’t just spot-zone for a small parcel out of context. The location has to work for housing (avoiding proximity to highways, noise problems, industrial adjacencies etc). Ownership has to be correct and undisputed: Just because something is on a list as city owned doesn’t mean there isn’t a title dispute that is ongoing or some other litigation. Everything has to be checked carefully.”
Since Mayor Koch, New York City mayors bold enough to commit to a housing plan each have been subject to the criticism that their plan didn’t create or renovate enough housing, didn’t do it fast enough, didn’t reach the right populations (not enough for our poorest residents, not enough for the middle class), and that it negatively affected our existing neighborhoods with inappropriate scale, different building typologies, and unwelcome changes to the demographic makeup of the community. Read the entire article by our Executive Director Jerilyn Perine.
New affordable buildings are offering subsidized units for families of four making up to $172k with critics stating that this does not qualify as ‘meaningful affordability’. Executive Director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council, Jerilyn Perine stated “I wouldn’t say that on the face of it that is necessarily a bad idea, the need at every income band is so great.”
Executive Director of CHPC Jerilyn Perine responding to the Governor’s remark for more state control over the financing of affordable housing, says that the organizations’ report, Pump up the Volume calls for more conversation and information be made public on housing agency websites.
Commenting on the soon to be expiring 421-a tax exemption program, Executive Director of Citizens Housing and Planning Council Jerilyn Perine noted, “an end to the 421-a program would make affordable housing very expensive to build. If you want to continue the current production level the gap is going to have to be closed in some other way.”
The 421-a program is set to expire on Friday, unless construction unions and real estate developers agree on the future wages to be paid on projects receiving the subsidy. In an interview, Citizens Housing and Planning Council Executive Director Jerilyn Perine noted “Without 421-a it’ll cost the government more money to provide the affordable units the’re promising. The two sides need to step back from the cliff and start focusing on how to solve the problems facing us.”
With the first modular residential building set to open in March, New Yorkers will change how they view living in a small space. Deputy director of CHPC, Sarah Watson noted that many singles are already living in small spaces with multiple roommates, as their options are very few. She went on to add that this is just a “teeny contribution” to fighting the housing crisis.
According to research from the Citizens Housing Planning Council—the nonprofit whose research informed Bloomberg’s AdAPT competition—there are 1.8 million one- and two-person households in New York City and just 1 million studios and one-bedroom apartments. Carmel Place’s 55 units are just a drop in the bucket, but pose a solution for denser living in a city where buildable land is at a premium.
This wealth of diverse material, rounded out by interactive features like the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s digital “What is Affordable Housing” toolkit and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council’s “Inside the Rent” app, manage to convey not only why government is involved in affordable housing (because the private sector alone can’t, or won’t, provide it), but who that housing is for (a wide spectrum of individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have a place to live).
Jerilyn Perine, executive director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, noted that unlike universal prekindergarten, a linchpin accomplishment of the mayor’s first year, the housing plan cannot be boiled down to a single snappy message.
“I could sell you pre-K in one sentence: We’ll give pre-K to every child in the city,” said Ms. Perine, a former city housing commissioner. Housing “is a complex issue,” she said. “It has lots of moving parts.”
“Providing three-bedroom apartments when demand is overwhelmingly concentrated in smaller than that might not be the best use of a scarce resource,” Jerilyn Perine, a former HPD commissioner who now heads the Citizens Housing Planning Council,“Many more people need studios and one-bedrooms, which is not surprising given the population of single adults.”
“You can’t deny the data,” Sarah Watson, deputy director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, told Crain’s. “This mismatch causes all sorts of economic distortions.”