Creating Aspirational Neighborhoods

“Aspirational neighborhoods” = neighborhoods 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 shelter is 337 days. Even after leaving shelter, 56% of families wind up returning to the system compared with 22% a decade ago, indicating that the City shelter system largely fails to create the opportunities clients need to find and maintain stable housing.

Supportive housing groups have attempted to address this by providing social services to their residents alongside housing. Since the early 1990’s, they have created 40,000 units of housing for singles and made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable people. Many more housing units have been set aside for homeless families.

However, the families that enter the shelter system today largely come from the same neighborhoods as they did 30 years ago – namely in Central Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and Northern Manhattan. More troubling is that new neighborhoods are being added to the list, like Williamsbridge in the Bronx and Jamaica in Queens.

Through this Aspirational Neighborhoods project, we are focusing on research projects and events that will bring together experts in the field to come up with strategies that can ensure that our neighborhoods are rich repositories to support the needs of their residents – to lift them out of poverty and help them to prosper.

Featured Impact
Neighborhood Stress Test

CHPC has released a new report that sets a foundation for our Aspirational Neighborhoods initiative. The Neighborhood Stress Test identifies a method for policymakers to focus the attention and resources of government on the neighborhoods that need it most. In the process of developing this method, CHPC has also identified serious issues regarding the collection of data by public agencies that hamper government efforts to coordinate effective programs in those communities.

Publications ×+

Neighborhood Stress Test

CHPC has released a new report that sets a foundation for our Aspirational Neighborhoods initiative. The Neighborhood Stress Test identifies a method for policymakers to focus the attention and resources of government on the neighborhoods that need it most.


Creating Aspirational Communities

Last fall, Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) convened eleven experts on homeless policy, supportive housing, and community development for a roundtable discussion around Creating the Aspirational Community.


Policy ×+

Steering the New Course: CHPC’s Ideas for Housing and Land Use Policy in New York City

With so much political change in New York this year, we felt that it was important to set out our suggestions and priorities for housing and land use policy based on all of CHPC’s work over recent years. We always aim to be a resource for decision-makers inside and outside of government – to help them to understand NYC’s most pressing housing and neighborhood issues, think through the real impact of policy on the three-dimensional built environment, and map out realistic policy steps for housing and land use that can result in positive change for our city and all New Yorkers.


Latest Insights
January 10, 2017 - by CHPC
February 8, 2016 - by CHPC
Support CHPC

Your contribution will provide critical support for our research and advocacy efforts, which shape key policies that improve housing throughout the city.

Donate