A recent report from New York University’s Furman Center describes the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) housing portfolio’s important role in the city’s efforts to maintain economic and racial diversity and preserve affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods.
The location of NYCHA’s public housing units has enabled low-income, minority households to live in high-income neighborhoods currently experiencing significant gentrification. According to the report, 59 percent of public housing units are in gentrifying neighborhoods and 27 percent are in high-income neighborhoods.
Examining the degree to which public housing residents contribute to diversity, the report found that many neighborhoods, including several high-income and gentrifying neighborhoods, were significantly more racially and ethnically diverse due to the presence of public housing residents. Policy recommendations include supporting efforts to preserve public housing and maintain affordability, as well as offering services to public housing residents to ensure that they can share in the economic and quality of life benefits that accompany gentrification.