Housing Brass Tacks | February 27

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February 1st, 2017 no comments
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MIH, 421-a, rezonings, and RAD: Making heads or tails of housing policy in New York City can require a glossary — or decoder ring. While we try to understand the forces shaping the housing market and the impact of Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan, changes in housing and community development are afoot at the federal level. Within an hour of being sworn into office, Donald Trump’s administration suspended a FHA mortgage premium cut that primarily benefits first-time and low-income homebuyers. New leadership is coming to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (celebrated neurosurgeon and housing policy novice Ben Carson has been nominated to lead the agency) and new policies regarding public housing, fair housing law, and homeowner subsidies are just some of the speculated changes afoot.

In light of the current climate and feeling the housing squeeze, The Architectural League decided it’s time for a return to basics. Housing Brass Tacks is our new housing-focused biweekly discussion series. We’re inviting experts in to help untangle complex topics and big ideas in housing policy and development, to better understand the forces shaping where and how we live. These informal conversations are getting down to brass tacks—the fundamentals the structure this unwieldy topic—and are open to neophytes and seasoned housers alike.

In our third Housing Brass Tacks discussion, Mark Willis will cover the basic structure of affordable housing finance and the economic and social reasons that government intervenes. Following up on our Affordability Toolbox discussion, Mark will focus on a few of the specific tools that influence these markets: subsidies — both direct and through the tax system, such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits and New York’s 421-a incentive — and the regulation and responsibilities of financial institutions, particularly through the Community Reinvestment Act.

Ample time for conversation will follow Willis’s presentation. You bring the questions, we’ll supply the experts and the wine.

Mark Willis is the Senior Policy Fellow at the NYU Furman Center. Before joining the NYU Furman Center, Mark was a Visiting Scholar at the Ford Foundation, working on research related to community development and the financial services sector. Prior to his time at Ford, he spent 19 years at JPMorgan Chase overseeing its community development program, serving as Executive Vice President and Founding President of the Chase Community Development Corporation. Mark has also held positions with the City of New York in economic development, tax policy, and housing, where he was the Deputy Commissioner for Development at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He also worked as an urban economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mark has a B.A. in economics from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in urban economics and industrial organization from Yale University.


Coming Up:

The Money
Monday, February 13, 2017
7:00 p.m.

The Architectural League of New York
594 Broadway, Suite 607

Free for members. $5 for non-members. Reserve tickets by registering on Eventbrite.


Past Events:

Affordability Toolbox
Monday, February 13, 2017

Since the private market often can’t (or won’t) provide housing for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, how do we create affordable housing? Housing scholar Matthew Lasner, associate professor of urban studies and planning at Hunter College, gave an overview of the tools used to create and maintain affordable housing over the last century in New York City: building codes, rent regulations, non-profit and non-speculative housing, and government subsidies.

Hud, Hud, HUD!
Monday, January 30, 2017

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), established in 1965, seeks to “create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.” Former HUD Regional Administrator Holly Leicht explained what the department’s $49 billion budget supports, whom HUD serves, and how housing policy born at the federal level is implemented at the local level.

Read a re-cap of this discussion.



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