Mandatory Inclusion

The image above is clipped from the NYC Zoning Resolution

The Voluntary Inclusionary Housing Program (VIH) provides a bonus floor area if the developer creates permanently affordable housing. A maximum of 20% of the Residential Floor Area must be set aside to tenants at 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)., the project must be located in the Inclusionary Housing Designated Area to qualify for the bonus floor area. The Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Program (MIH) requires permanently affordable housing to be provided to obtain alteration or new building permits from the Dept. of Buildings. The MIH affordable housing options are detailed below; each area will apply specific options. The maps and suitable alternatives can be seen in Appendix F of the NYC Zoning Resolution.

The Developers Choices

Option 1: 25% of the Residential Floor Area needs to be set aside at a weighted average of 60% AMI, with at least 10% set aside at 40% AMI

Option 2: 30% of the Residential Floor Area needs to be set aside at a weighted average of 80% AMI

Option 3 (Deep Affordability Option):20% of the Residential Floor Area needs to be set aside at a weighted average of 40% AMI

Option 4 (Workforce Option): 30% of the Residential Floor Area needs to be set aside at a weighted average of 115% AMI, with a least 5% set aside at 70% AMI and 5% set aside at 90% AMI

Affordable Housing Contribution

Project developers with less than 26 residential units and 25,000 sq. ft. FAR have the option of contributing to the affordable housing fund. Projects with ten residential units and 12,500 sq. ft. of Residential Floor Area are exempt from the MIH requirements.

The MIH units may be used to satisfy other affordable housing program requirements. Several firms are involved, from design to the Completion Notice administered by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

A “My Neighborhood” post (here) will follow a vacant city-owned lot to follow a real-world example. A broader discussion of what it takes to produce a creative place is (here).

Resources: Look for Data

As the options list above suggests, this is New York City and everything is negotiable. A common criticism of the MIH approach to equity and fairness is the rents remain “too damn high.” However, the argument by housing advocates for additional resources such as Section 8 rental assistance for families can be made if local activists work with data and technical service providers to bring added data/value to the table, reflecting a greater need. Examples are plentiful; however, the following are a good place to decide if the “deep end” is for your organization or if new partners may be the way to get a better handle on the problems that need solutions.

  • The Urban Institute’s rental assistance prioritization index enables housing authorities and providers of rental assistance to find vulnerable communities.
  • The Census Bureau hosted a 12-week sprint with university-based leaders and Census data experts to find ways to disseminate Census data more equitably. The best examples for NYC are CityBuilder and Data to Go.
  • Google and Carto partnered with HUD to create an online map to demonstrate a mix of census data, rent data, and Google’s mobile device data. State and local government officials can navigate the map to analyze COVID-19 migration patterns across the U.S., gauge the effects of movements, and identify where additional resources are needed.

Amidst all of the chaos, hoops, and hurdles of the above is more complex than straightforward, clear you head by listening to a person that sees the earth and density in a very positive way.

Planning Hazard

Other than the occasional declaration of a national park, housing produces the largest demand for land. Land acquisition and regulation in the public interest for urban development and renewal, on theother is one of the hottest buttons ever legislatively produced and upheld as law. It may be time to rework this established foundation for managing new challenges aimed at sustaining the welfare of the nation and its people.

The impact of climate change on real estate development has stimulated anticipation of a new combination of eminent domain rights and land-use zoning useful in de-stimulating investment by location. This authority, however, will follow, not lead new industry trends focused on climate impacts. New price-mechanism led by mortgage bank lending and insurance company practices are rapidly reshaping the regulatory environment.

Hazard Assessment

The heightened assessment of climate impacts has begun. It will alter state and local protection of the nation’s watershed. The question is will it be in the interest of the general welfare. The wilderness urban interface will be focused on fire and flooding hazards more sharply than ever. The four early indicators examined here are instructive of two possibilities. First is whether an up from the grassroots leadership will emerge with effective, replicable legislative solutions. Second, whether obstructions to an effective national land-use policy will reduce the plausibility of a timely response.

  1. Recently U.S. Congress introduced legislation to require the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide rules for finance disclosures examining climate change impacts. (here) and pubic responses (here). Federal legislation lacks consensus as  law makers remain willing to “wait it out” leaving the hazard guess work to the industries involved.
  2. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also has published a Request for Information for public input on this topic and collected numerous responses (pdf here)
  3. The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)(here), is an international consortium of businesses and NGOs, who publish annual guidance on accounting for climate risk in financial statements. The CDSB has yet to establish a “risk-standard” useful for the protection people in flood hazard areas.
  4. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) identify Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). SFHAs are into divided into different flood insurance rate zones based on the magnitude of the flood hazard.

Hazard Awareness

While the legislators seek consensus, federal agencies request public input, and the international community struggles to lead, we find FEMA. It is a post-trauma agency. Their maps often are out of date regarding the ongoing production of single-family housing by an average of five years. Why? The maps establish plans for disaster readiness. They have an indirect influence on local land use and zoning policies. In this regard, FEMA estimates that thirteen million people in the United States (2020) — four percent of the population — live in SFHAs, the high flood-risk areas. On the other hand, The National Insurance Journal research identified 29 million flood risk properties outside the official flood zones (here).

About one million single-unit structures are part of the 1.5 million built in the United States each year (pdf here). The demand for housing still connects directly to flood-hazard areas. A mortgage and insurance may not be available; however, development loans will continue based on off-site collateral. The onus of risk by the occupants has accepted policy. What is becoming a concern is due to the growing number of households willing to be a risk yet require a public response.

David Burt is the founder of Delta Terra Capital, a climate risk intelligence agency aimed at institutional investors. In his testimony submitted to the Senate Special Committee on the Climate Crisis (3.20.21), he wrote:

“the damages to residential real estate will be roughly .85% per year, 58% higher than the amount collected by insurers to cover it.”

The risk assessment shared with large investor clients is vastly different than that shared with Joe Public looking for a house. See the deep end data drill down using Freddie Mac STACR 2020-DNA6 Credit Risk Transfer (CRT) securitization. (here).

Get Examples

The following example of the public response to addressing flood-hazard risk involves six watersheds west of the Hudson River in New York State. Funding combining city, state, and federal sources began in 2011 following the flood impact of Hurricane Sandy and more recent impacts such as the extreme rainfall of Hurricane Ida. The NYS watershed environments provide fresh, forest-cleaned water to over twenty million people without filtration. As a result, Flood-hazard analysis and related climate change impacts have become vital to the retention and resilience of this resource.

The Local Flood Analysis Program (LFA) served fourteen municipal areas preparing mitigation plans. The Stream Management Implementation Program (SMIP) examined design/construction activities, regulating implementation through a Local Flood Hazard Mitigation Implementation Program (LFHMIP). While voluntary, the City-Funded Flood Buyout Program (FBO) provides at-risk property holders with eligibility for a FEMA buy-out as well as assistance for those not eligible. In addition, New York implemented two other programs to engage the public and professionals with long-range planning with public funding. These are the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program and the Sustainable Communities Planning Program.

Data is requested on Hazard Assessment, Awareness, and Local Examples and the connection to housing affordability: (initial locational sources in NYS (here).

Favela Policy

“The demonizing rhetoric of the various international wars on terrorism, drugs, and crime is so much semantic apartheid: they construct epistemological walls around gecekondusfavelas, and chawls that disable any honest debate about the daily violence of economic exclusion.” 

Mike Davis in Planet of Slums

War has matured from violent mechanization into routine political practices during the last century. All of them are tightly organized into specific spatial groupings. The roots of this application of power are well understood as the feudal, colonial, and postcolonial geographies of domination. The range of its influence on policy today requires revocation for one reason. It is a destroyer of cities. A good place to prove that a repudiation of the favela policy and a positive alternative is possible can be found in the neighborhoods of NYC. The damaging option is the long list of slowly enlarging favelas and poverty-occupied regions across the global city.

Practical perspectives from a progressive city like New York observes its urban world as a global entity. The phrase “core-periphery spatial structures” used to describe this view is academic but valuable when looking at the location of housing development sites that explain the attempt to meet human needs or fail to do so in the urban world.

The persistence of poverty has a place name in every country.

Housing Discussions

The following paragraphs introduce other posts in The Report on the subject of housing. First, it introduces access to resources that examine the world’s “shantytown.” Second, it looks at the failure of the built environment professionals to “step it up.” as leaders. Finally, two other articles focus on the idea of strategic exactions in housing development and the other on the crisis of “rent” in New York City as a bellwether for the nation. So here they are:

The Informals

Like the instruments of war, similar practices in the formation of political structures use spatial organization in a direct attempt to control people as capital. “Informal Settlement” is a standard description for the construction of this capital. It is a phenomenon that is considered an organic condition brought about by a long list of market failures. A short introduction to them will be found (here) for a more intensive global location examination. These are places where subsistence economy suffering is collective, but the observer will also discover many compelling examples of the creative human spirit at its finest. In many cases, the failure to find access to capital flow hierarchies often identified as the property of the powerful fails all of us.

Creating a Living Place

A more extensive examination of the causes is placed on the doorstep of the professional facilitators (here). It is not unfair to call out the lack of a professional moral compass among the building investor professions. This failure is not from the viewpoint of individuals but the institutional nucleus of their domains. The membership of the built environment institutions has not been one-tenth as capable of addressing the issues that cause human suffering like those of health and law. There are exceptions that prove efforts to fix this problem. The Report includes a post entitled Brooklyn is Charitable (here). In it, there is a small list of organizations and institutions that are attempting to push and pull urban planning, architecture, and engineering into the world of social and environmental justice.

Strategic Exactions

The introduction of new urban housing and the question of affordability is highly complicated. Will the introduction of a “gentry” encourage the displacement of lower-income who rent? Will higher-income people, regardless of skin color, remain silent in defense of the vulnerable members of a community. This post is entitled “Castling” and examines the use of this medieval structure as a metaphor for power. An examination of anti-displacement strategies for New York City neighborhoods (here) looks at the American urban version of the favela, politely referred to as geographies of the city where “persistent poverty” is the issue. Finally, this post looks at “exactions” with the name community benefits agreement and ideas about alternatives such as “strategic exactions.”

The Rent Crisis

A detailed look at housing malfunctions is (here). One of the points made in this post is how an organization was founded in 1937, but the facts are sharp. The genius of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) is how the five rooms of an apartment can represent the five costs of development. These are 1) construction, 2) taxes, 3) land, 4) money, and 5) operating costs. CHPC points out that of all five costs, only one has the most significant impact on rent. Answer: the cost of money is the primary factor. Today a change of one percent in the average interest rate from development through permanent financing could alter rents significantly. Attempts to manipulate all of the other costs yield minimal impact on rent.

Freddie Mac estimated at the end of 2020 that the United States was 3.8 million housing units short of meeting the nation’s needs. Combine that with the surge of millennials into the housing market — they represented more than half of all mortgage originations last year — as well as the insatiable appetite of investors, who now snatch up nearly one in six homes sold in America. The contours of a new, lightning-fast, permanently desperate housing market come clearly into view.”

New York Times, 11/12/2021

Every Problem is a Housing Problem

Providing community-based development organizations (CBDO) with insight into strategies of service for specific client constituencies is a constant challenge. The day-to-day tasks of program leaders and staff engage a variety of pre-determined reasonably funded activities. Executive Directors and program staff involved in social services intake need an analytical agent to help them describe existing conditions that could become critical. Here is an example of how such an assessment could work:

The Furman Center has produced multiple resources on housing issues with statistical evidence by neighborhood, as well as, combinations that reveal a wider spread of city-wide concerns. The array of eviction data from Furman is vast, requiring many hours of review on the predictive, mitigating, and direct service demands possible. The benefit of a summary of these resources is essential. It applies to an organization’s mission, operational issues, strategic outlook, track record on the subject, and the subsequent choice of tactics. A temp with planning research and analysis experience is economical yet strategic in its importance.

The following posts explore approaches to housing issues.

The overall distribution has remained roughly unchanged since 2016, as the order of the top five and composition of the top ten remained the same. The map above illustrates the concentration of high average property tax bills in the Northeast. In contrast, southern states (with the exception of Texas) boast some of the lowest RET bills for their resident homeowners. See post below.

Power is in the hand of the governed.

Housing Economics

Even Texas, the state that added the most housing units, showed decreases in more than half (52.4%) of its counties — reflecting the concentration of housing unit growth in larger metropolitan counties, with declines more common in smaller non-metropolitan counties.

Spend some time looking through the 2020 Population and Housing State Data. The priority within the Bureau will remain in this area as it will direct the addition and subtraction of political representatives. The increase in metropolitan county density in states like Texas will reveal housing as a massive engine for growth. The lack of criticism for the quality of place-making should be observed very carefully as 2020 data rolls on to the nation’s micro-marketing platforms.

For example, criticism for using an archetypal housing structure (below) is warranted. The data on how housing production produces jobs and supports industries is important. That the data also reveals a metropolitan shift across the country is more so. The focus on jobs and industry is useful. however, the design of the new and restored communities is how lasting value is established in the new world of climate change roulette. Revealing the preference for the areas of the country that are becoming increasingly wet or dry under rapidly changing barometric domes of atmospheric heat threatens these gains. A shift in focus away from individual structures to the way entire communities produce jobs, support industries, and remain resilient is the core challenge.

In this context, the vast wealth of American households is generated by where Americans want to live or are forced to live. This is followed by the type of structure available and the cost of acquisition. The result remains a choice limited by income and the transfer of equity from one generation to the next. Thousands of other factors are involved, all of them well documented. The issue remains the general unwillingness to build a different society.

A national policy regarding the location of home equity is strengthened by a metropolitan strategy where inclusion is sustained as a high priority. The urbanization of the New York and Houston metro areas presents an important basis for comparing land-use policies that yield the greatest benefit. One example built into the libertarian argument of Texas where the idea of historic preservation was attacked by a lawsuit suggesting it violated the city’s “no zoning” rules –turning that city into a sprawling megalopolis of virtually uncontrolled land uses (here).

The numeric change at the state measure is vast, while the metro comparisons are statistically similar. The opportunity to understand metropolitan development in the context of climate change and resilience, public cost, and private benefit will be found in these two dynamic housing environments.

State and Core Based Statistical Areas

New York State
Population Density (2020): 428.7 people per square mile
Total population (2020): 20,201,249
Total population (2010): 19,378,102
Numeric change (2010–2020): 823,147
Percent change (2010–2020): 4.2

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area
Total population (2020): 20,140,470
Total population (2010): 18,897,109
Numeric change (2010–2020): 1,243,361
Percent change (2010–2020): 6.6

Texas
Population Density (2020): 111.6 people per square mile
Total population (2020): 29,145,505
Total population (2010): 25,145,561
Numeric change (2010–2020): 3,999,944
Percent change (2010–2020): 15.9

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX Metro Area
Total population (2020): 7,122,240
Total population (2010): 5,920,416
Numeric change (2010–2020): 1,201,824
Percent change (2010–2020): 20.3

Thanks! I ripped this one into text like a bandage, and fixed most of it, but thanks again.

Density Favorites

Our one purpose is to participate in a forum on the complexity of urban density and examine its makers worldwide. In the research for Density, we are reading hundreds of websites, books, and articles. Most are online.  We are not stepping completely away from the dead tree press, but new opportunities are exposed with more than one thing in hand at a time. This is wide open network team. Privacy remaing permanent. Expectations are listed below.

RLC
  1. The objectives implied by this purpose will require the expertise of many contributors with various skills and thousands of locations. For example, the development and use of KML code will add an important online function.
  2. Our team envisions regionally and city-based writers willing to establish a long-term research effort on opportunities created by urban density, The product will describe the problems density helps to solveby analyzing issues, various approaches, and action ideas.
  3. The partnership aims to produce a continuous, worldwide exploration of dense urban environments’ successes (or failures).
  4. Additional excerpts from a working draft of Density includes an offer to join in developing this “partnership project.”
  5. Begin by sending an inquiry below or for a different approach on the policies and politics of Density see Writers Wanted


Posts: New to Old

The White Chair
Michael Wolf The White Chair Prompt The photographer's relationship to architecture equips us with a possibility — an agreement of care for the immense impact of density on human life. …
Road Density
The Global Roads Inventory Project (GRIP) dataset describes 60 geospatial datasets on road infrastructure worldwide, covering 222 countries and over 21?million?km of roads. The dataset is split into 5 types: …
Urban Mobility
Artists of various urban futures are fond of envisioning the easy movement of people and goods as a visually exciting urban benefit. We see crowded, yet free-flowing shoulder-to-shoulder sidewalks, sweeping …
Evacuation
Don't run, just know where to go. The zones vary Most observers know from experience that the low cost of land and lower population densities occur from the center of …
Create 2,000 Dense Places
I have a plan for 2,000 dense urban places, with 20,000 people each connected to high-speed communication systems. Each is an urban core offering specific opportunities for unlimited growth in a …
Seven Declarations
Declarations develop an emotional capacity for change on behalf of family and community, a town or city, a state and nation, province and commonwealth. The following declarations describe qualities of …
The Unlimited Inside
Unrestrained Outside & Unlimited Insides. How does density save the wilderness, support sustainable agriculture, and do not harm purpose?  If the problem is defined within the global colonization and destruction …
Networks
Human cognitive mapping abilities are well documented. The addition of GPS devices to this research yield maps of everything that moves in the urban world among the stuff that doesn't …
Limited Expansiveness
Sirius, 2006, by Lita Albuquerque, photo by Jean de Pomereu (Domus) From 1800 to 2000, planning, engineering, and architecture, served to create a vast expansion of the urban world. It …
Zoning GHG
New York City's newest set of proposed zoning changes will re-write rules to remove impediments to constructing and retrofitting buildings in every land use. The objective: reduce urban energy consumption and …

Posts: Old to New

Earthdays
Metro = Megacity/Megacorp + OBDCEarthday, urban land use, and management in the 21st century Without a national land-use …
Planet of Cities
This history of human settlements is a story of continuous growth and increasing urban densities that reduce per …
One Bryant Park
In thoughtful research reporting, the requirement, to sum up, should become a higher priority. In Skyscrapers and the …
Zoning GHG
New York City's newest set of proposed zoning changes will re-write rules to remove impediments to constructing and retrofitting …


    Housing Rents

    The causes of the housing problem can give you a facial tick. Here goes one recent example; the housing market has added single-family-rental securitization. This specimen is made of our old friend mortgage-backed securities backed by inflated home value and a rising market for rental housing. Combined with the collapse of employment, a friend from Michigan put it this way, this could turn into a nasty brew of outraged and hungry people, all of whom have guns.

    In 2016, 95 percent of the distressed mortgages on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s books were auctioned off to Wall Street investors without preconditions and few provisions. As a result, the market recovered but without homeowners. Instead, private-equity firms acquired over 200,000 homes. While cities like New York are attractive but expensive investments, a substantial percentage of these new acquisitions occur in middle-class and low- and moderate-income suburban neighborhoods. Single-family-buildings have been in the rental market for a long time, but only recently has this practice added volatility to the market with the public humiliation of eviction.

    Matthew Desmond’s book focused on eviction as a cause and consequence of distress in low to high-density communities. Once considered a big-city problem where evictions occurred formally through the courts. Less known and understood are management practices using subtle displacement practices such as “rent to buy schemes,” where low rent is the “hook,” and high down payments provide the profit. Overall, the increased rate of housing displacement is driven by weak government policies attracted to quick fixes, leading to the rise of institutionally managed and owned rental housing, and a court system that does not recognize the rights of tenants as comparable to landlords or developed the capacity for mediation before calling a U.S. Marshal.

    “The moment these moratoriums are lifted, we’ll see massive evictions.” 

    Professor Emily Benfer, Columbia Law School to CNBC reporter Annie Nova

    The tables below will look very different from 2020 onward. Eviction Lab’s website (here) may become one of the best places to keep an eye on America’s housing policy crisis.  Ordinary citizens can help flatten their legislators’ learning curve by examining the Lab’s scoreboard of state policy changes in response to the pandemic. The continuing legacy of the 2008 crisis is directly reflected in the lab’s state-by-state and county checklist (here) and NYC’s Columbia Law School’s help. For example, new York landlords can’t file eviction orders against tenants right now – but they can after June 20, 2020.

    The best source for monitoring policy changes in NYC is through the New York University Furman Center.

    The market recognizes home value fluctuations with an increased number of tenants available to cover mortgages. However, the market could not recognize the collapse of renter capacity to prioritize shelter over all else. Another fly in the soup (aka malfunction) is the invisibility of increased corporate ownership in low-density areas whose legal systems heavily favor owner over renter. The table below shows how NYS is attempting to protect its 8.2 million people in rental households, of which 5 million are in NYC. The share of renter households whose gross rent made up more than 30 percent of their monthly pre-tax income is approaching 50% of households.

    A 2018 study of New York eviction cases (Collinson & Reed, here) established a connection between eviction and homelessness in New York City.  The malfunctions of the housing market go both ways. A similar graph showing the percentage of household income for rent would also move steadily up from a baseline of affordability at 30%, rising to over 50% in 2019.

    America’s complicated housing market story includes a blaze of web articles (example here) that claim property management and rental housing acquisitions are good investments based on the volatility of sales (figure 3 below), offering the fun of bargain hunting coupled with the steady upward trend in asking rents (figure 2 above).

    Wall Street as Landlord

    The Malfunction

    Wall Street’s $60 billion real estate purchases have altered housing markets all over the United States. (NYT Story) The total funding for the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8) was a third of that at $20.292 billion in FY 2017. As in the 2008 recession, the malfunction is not paying attention to the possibility that former housing policies put equity in ordinary families’ lives through homeownership have disappeared just as the public might have been ready to recognize the inequity built into the system since 1950 could be corrected for the damage to families of color.

    New York City’s real estate market includes some of the most high-profile properties in the world. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive in which to invest. This wrinkle in a hot market is smooth with the invention of publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs). 

    These outfits are companies that invest directly in real estate through properties or mortgages. The Internal Revenue Service requires REITs to pay taxable profits in dividends to shareholders. Companies with REIT status do not pay corporate income tax. It has developed adjudicative services with support systems that recognize the rights of residents as renters. Investopedia’s description of Investing In New York City REITs is recommended reading.

    In 1968 the Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council of New York (CHPC) produced a little sixteen-page booklet on the housing problem with the above graphic on the cover. As a housing affordability advocacy group, they wanted people to understand what it took to build and operate affordable housing. So they put in the form of a five-room apartment in which the average cost of its development came to $20,000.

    It is important to point out that this was considered reasonable and $20,000 in 1967, based only on the consumer price index changes that would be $155,000 in 2020 to yield a total inflation rate of 675% or 12.73% /year. The genius of the CHPC presentation is how the five rooms (image above) represented in the development was composed of 1) construction, 2) taxes, 3) land, 4) money, and 5) operating costs and then pointed out of the five which had the greatest impact on rent. Answer: the cost of money is the major factor. Today a change of one percent in the average interest rate from development through permanent financing could alter rents by $120 per month. Manipulate all of the other costs, and it will yield minimal impact on rent.

    The affordability of housing is built entirely on Wall Street’s finance and banking industries’ desire to sustain both low (for them) and high-interest rates (for everyone else). Since 1967, or just over fifty years, the rate is based on the CPI alone, the trend toward high and almost 675%.

    The lack of affordable rents and housing (a human right) sits squarely on government steps in handling the cost of money for the American people’s safety and health. A researcher on this question will find reasonably up-to-date data in another post (here).

    Back to Malfunctions

    Housing and Climate

    Tweets from housing advocacy groups warned of the 2008 Recession for five years (here). They see another housing crisis forming in America caused by raising public awareness. It is about how equity was kept away from people by Americans against themselves. It is an issue defined by the nation’s 400 hundred-year heritage of enslavement, cold, racist terrorism, and bigotry. These facts also describe the world’s history, but it is the U.S. Constitution that had some ideas about how moral people could change immoral societies.

    RLC – OCCUPY

    Housing is Equity

    Problems that hurt people and go undefined and unanswered create a climate for authoritarian solutions. The often-told answer is an old retort of hard work, healthy homes, communities, and families. The response is correct but blind to the history of privileges extended to white America as it became the United States. For centuries rights and freedoms were extended to all people. Yet, policymakers made denial of pathways to equity routine. The bias crime barred the accumulation of wealth from property to serve succeeding generations. The quiet yet insidious reduction and denials of opportunity from education are proven. The lack of equity is significant.

    Over a half-century has passed since the idea of forming nonprofit housing development corporations was established by concerned residents and city officials. In Brooklyn and throughout New York City, this emergent network of housing rights advocates works as nonprofit partners with housing developers drawing on various financial mechanisms to defend low- and moderate-income households from the myth of “market rate” access to housing. Formed in the early 1970s, the Association of Neighborhood Housing Developers (ANHD) initially sought to bring equity to families by acquiring publicly owned (in rem) housing and converting it to various local ownership structures. The idea began during the great wave of housing vacancy and abandonment that started in the 1950s that destroyed entire neighborhoods. The pathway to equity remains narrow, easily recognized in the subtle name change of ANHD from developer to advocate. It is now the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (here).

    A public map listing of Brooklyn organizations is (here). One question is whether equity is created for low- and moderate-income households? Brooklyn’s housing rights and development organizations will struggle with the pandemic-stimulated crisis in rental housing. Yet, in this crisis, there is an opportunity to create new partnerships toward equity in housing because the issue is straight forward as this heading states:

    In the centuries that led to the rise of American hegemony, not one person, not W.E.B. DuBois or even Martin Luther King, fully articulated the loss of equity. The voice of Ta-Nehisi Coates is the most current (here). He stands on firm ground because the U.S. has participated in reparations six times. The seventh time should take a long hard look at housing as linked to the displacement challenges posed by climate change.

    Every problem is a housing location problem.

    Ending the Wherever Movement

    After WWII, localities keep a hold on the tail of the revenue bull while blind to the beast. As a result, in the last century, millions of households benefited from federal housing policies with only one location principle – housing wherever you want. However, in this new century reducing the mortgage interest subsidy on the demand side and weakening a long list of development incentives on the supply side has severely weakened federal leadership in housing preservation and development to continue the “build wherever” policy.

    A new housing crisis is in the air for reasons other than systemic racism in America. Every issue connects to a housing problem. For some time, the equity crisis re-establishes classicism under headings such as “culture wars,” but the results change little. The metaphor is weak. Using resilience principles, the facts on every “next disaster” can be different. Technology offers opportunities to build a broader coalition on equity with justice that includes race by correcting past wrongs yet moves forward to circumvent long-established rules of “divide to conquer.”

    The surge of affordable single-family housing in America continues in the hot wetlands of the south with periodic drought and the flat drylands of the south- and northwest with asymmetrical flash floods and fire. However, the onset of climate change will drown the wetlands, scorch and burn the drylands, and cause enormous disruptions in every region of the United States.

    Recurrence Denial

    Denying the annual recurrence of this possibility is a repudiation of science and a political endorsement of catastrophic resolution. I will not be surprised if we experience a bout of biblical pestilence in the narrative of the resistance to this long-term, permanent threat. Long before the direct links to climate change formed, the impacts of disastrous choices in land use development are rightly defined as “environmental racism” by pointing directly at the disproportionate number of low-and-moderate-income people losing equity. The damage and despair reveal a broad swath of painful historic bigotry, but now the dangers are thrown at everyone.

    The opportunity to write national housing policies occurs routinely. The 2020 decade began with unmet demand for five million new homes.

    The opportunity to write national housing policies occurs routinely. The 2020 decade began with unmet demand for five million new homes. It is possible to re-establish national housing development policies as the leading edge of a new strategy re-focused by climate protection. First, it can build on resources that combine restoration with resilience. Second, a new housing policy will create sustainable equity in communities. Finally, the procedures are in place to help people survive the hatred and bigotry injected into the threat of high water, drought, sickness, and fire.

    It is possible to re-establish national housing development policies as the leading edge of a new strategy. First, climate protection will be re-focused on resilience and restoration. Second, it will create sustainable equity in communities. Finally, long standing human rights policy will help people survive the hatred and bigotry far too quickly injected into the threat of high water, drought, and fire.

    Two Centuries Out

    Living way up in Maryland’s Appalachian blue ridge range, it is easy to find seashell fossils.  When a friend built a house up there, they removed a boulder covered in Trilobite fossils, and there was a shark tooth that said to me the sea was here for a very long time, and it will be back.

    The following summary of Tweets is from this site’s Tweet-O-Rama (July 2019.

    The idea of a summary is that it may be possible to find threads of principle in policy that alter pervasive opinions.

    One example is the purpose of a large national government.

    As a result, it will be possible to forge new policy from environmental protection as a national defense strategy forced by the bright light of survival and a much more severe focus on the big picture. I offer one example.

    The ocean’s tide can flow up and into the Great Appalachian Valley from Maine’s ports to South Carolina’s shores over the next few centuries. The ancient geological record proves it has been there before. Given a long-term view, getting ready should be a top priority. Preparation for this kind of “sea change” in all its meanings is the most critical action of this century (the original map as shown below is here). Issues like this are just the beginning:

    Hundreds of practical policies governing housing equity and location can be surmised with a review of the location of vulnerable households.

    The percentage of elderly who reside in coastal locations as provided by a Climate Central study.


    Take your pick of issues for building a constituency on housing development and location. If the Gulf of Mexico’s fate is an alga thickened swamp, we need policies for what that means. If the Pacific Ocean’s vast torrents alter the Gulf Stream, El Niño yields unsurvivable surface heat or hundreds of tornadoes and hurricanes. Not being ready is a super bad idea. Whether friendly or with horrible force, heed the words, “the water will come.” The plan seemed different when time itself became for sale, and that is not a surprise if you know how non-fungible tokens (NFT) and blockchains changed all financial transactions.

    Policy People

    Please enjoy looking at the national Tweet-O-Rama organizations focused on housing (here). With those thoughts in mind, it is logical to look at politics as a sport and as a practice that is now very different from the role of leadership that it implies. A growing number of elected national representatives now complain of a system of government that appears to ignore the will of the people.

    Buildings and Energy

    • Improve energy incentives in buildings by centralizing incentives. Update the State Energy Code swiftly and expedite “climate-friendly” projects. Prioritize energy efficiency initiatives for affordable housing.
    • The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) should be raised from 25% to 30%.
    • The Public Service Commission should be permitted to require time-of-use pricing, which allows the price of electricity to more closely track the actual cost of producing it on an hour-by-hour basis.
    • Provide incentives for installing a “smart meter” to allow for data exchange between the electricity provider and the customer’s electric meter.
    • Sub-metering should be required in all buildings to allow building owners to bill tenants for individual electric usage.
    • The State Energy Code should be amended to cover more building renovations; currently, only renovations that involve the replacement of 50% or more of a building’s subsystem must comply with the Code.
    • All new or substantially renovated school buildings should be required to meet green building standards.
    • Water and wastewater treatment plants should be required to adopt energy conservation requirements.
    • Reinstate the State Energy Planning Board

    Land Use

    • The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) regulations should be amended such that GHG emissions are considered for projects that are subject to it.
    • GHG emissions should be factored into local comprehensive plans.
    • Wind projects, including those offshore, should be encouraged and New York should adopt a statewide wind energy goal as part of its RPS requirement.

    Vehicles and Transportation

    • Continue to strive for a 10% reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) below business as usual within 10 years; to this end, New York should initiate a VMT Task Force.
    • Consider imposing feebates on the purchase of new vehicles with low fuel economy and offer rebates on the purchase of vehicles with high fuel economy.
    • Encourage the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles.
    • Include Energy-saving vehicle maintenance techniques as part of the vehicle registration process.

    Additional recommendations

    • Encourage the expansion of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by promoting the adoption of an economy-wide cap on GHGs; in addition, consider lowering the existing cap.
    • Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology should be pursued provided that adequate federal funding is available.
    • Green workforce development should be promoted by enhancing educational and job training programs throughout the state.
    • Encourage the Interagency Committee on Sustainability and Green Procurement to be aggressive in setting green specifications for certain goods that are purchased by State agencies.
    • Promote methane capture by requiring or encouraging it in all municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.
    • Improve its floodplain mapping system by taking into account future sea level rise.

    New York State Bar Association Task Force on Global Warming reviewed New York’s existing laws and programs, including existing and pending federal laws regarding climate change.  The Task Force is chaired by Professor Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University School of Law.  (Jan. 2009.)  The proposals are organized into four categories: buildings and energy, land use, transportation, and others. In addition, the following was edited from the Executive Summary excerpted in the Law of the Land blog.

    Affordable Housing

    We can dream and have goals, but it is impossible to think things into existence. Direct action is required to be creative. A leader needs parents and friends that believe in action. A leader needs to be interested in exploring new steps and strategies that will end inequality and injustice.

    The action takes courage, ideas, funding, and time. Suppose you would like more of that in the Ninth Congressional District (Map). We are everyone who reads this to share their personal experience, ideas, and actions in response to the issues and responses on housing.

    Report on Hot Buttons

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25070 (2005-2016); retrieved from American Census.

    The map shows the percentage of renter households who spend 50% or more of their income on rent.  In the CD9 area, this represents 27% to 35% of households as Rent Burdened.  It is unaffordable, with over 30% of household income. 

    Housing Networks

    The housing expertise in New York City represents an extraordinary depth of staff, from its network of neighborhood organizations to the extensive analytical prowess of national offices. So why are they failing?

    Brooklyn’s nonprofit community development corporations and others have decades of experience in preserving and developing housing throughout the city. However, this resource faces a variety of new challenges in the prevention of displacement. To succeed,  they will need a far more sophisticated network for sharing housing innovations and achieving political change.  Not doing is why they face catastrophic failure. Just one example: The Trump Administration proposed an $8.8 billion cut in funds serving a low-and moderate-income community (an 18.3% reduction)in FY 2019 Budget. Will opposition to this proposal succeed? No, not until the 2020 loss.

    The primary asset forged from the grassroots up coupled with the ability to serve short-term needs while producing long-term solutions. Regardless of the “feeding-hand” problem that publicly funded organizations confront, the congressional delegation of New York City will still be the first in the nation to fully understand the subtle waves of displacement aimed at the vulnerable but working members of their community. The question becomes will they lose their self-respect if they do not resist these forces with every talent they possess? The maps that follow attempt to visualize a Brooklyn Housing and Community Development Summit membership that will ask and answer just one question.  What information do community-based organizations need to share in building a more comprehensive and progressive community development strategy?

    On the map below, CAMBA illustrates the ability to see people in real places before data.  The services represented by this map also visualize the importance of a comprehensive approach to community development in the context of the Ninth Congressional District and its immediate surroundings. Have a look, and for more detail, click (here).  This process is replicable for all geo-filters from Census Tracts to city and state political districts.

    Ninth Congressional District

    Yvette D Clarke (D-NY) ranks 381st in the House with an estimated net worth of $115,502 in 2014.  (More Recent)

    CD9 is super important because the average net worth in the U.S. House of Representatives is over $6 million (2014). Nevertheless, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Yvette D. Clarke received 82% her of campaign contributions ($537,295) from outside district. (Rank: 206 out of 421.), and she received 32% of campaign contributions ($211,772) from outside state. Over her career, for Responsive Politics)

    Draft for Comment and Selection of Research Roles

    Congressional Districts in dense urban environments do not sit in a vacuum easily separated from other neighborhoods, especially in NYC, and even more so in Brooklyn. The following litmus-test issues are important, but there is a larger issue.  How do we recognize the power available to our congressperson and strengthen it if necessary? Second, what is the overall political power of NYC and NYS congressional delegation in the U.S. Congress? Here are five main issues to consider:

    1. Immigration Reform
    2. Affordable Care Act (gov) (County Health Indicators)
    3. Broadband Policy (franchise accountability and capital investments)
    4. Coastal Flooding, Extreme Weather Resilience, and Global Warming
    5. Homelessness Crisis, Supportive and Affordable Housing and the role of HUD in NYC

    Government services build through the committee positions held by elected officials that is reviewed below and demands long tenures. Congressional District’s are won or lost on two issues — Jobs and Taxation. Tenure for a Ninth Congressional representative is threatened by the top two.

    Based on American Community Survey Data 2015: Congressional District Nine earns over $4.5 billion in annual payroll, but over half of it is from health care and social services. The total 2015 annual payroll for the district is $4.5 billion and $2.4 billion comes from the provision of health care and social assistance.

    Immigration reform (aka family disruption) threatens the well-being and employment of low- and moderate-income wage earners. This is the exact opposite of what people believe. Worse still, cuts in Medicaid and the gutting of the Affordable Care Act (that can be fixed) means significant job losses in the Ninth.

    The Republican opposition design is complicated (e.g. the Faso and Collins upstate play is part of a national attack on Dem govs.), but for our district, the assault on Medicaid alone threatens the jobs and well-being of Brooklyn families in a very serious way. The Downstate medical campus (Winthrop/Clarkson) already face serious institutional deficits, but the issue is broader than that employment base alone.

    Will our the NY Congressional delegation influence, authorize and allocate? Can they clarify these issues and resolve problems? How much time do they need? They must stand for NYC and NYS first, and only after that argue the positions of their respective political party. To this end,  an intense focus on CD9 first and then the NYC delegation as a whole to evaluate their effectiveness regarding specific concerns affecting the economic health, well-being, and diversity of urban life in NYC.

    To begin, an examination of District 9 and the participation the NY Delegation’s committee assignments will be the first primary task.  These committees respond to the development of legislation that can expand or reduce the government’s role in your life and after that, in the authorization and future allocation of public resources.

    Please review the following for the NYC locus of power in the House of Representatives committee structure.  Below are Evette Clarke’s assignments in the House. Pick an area of research that interests you and begins a fact-finding mission. Share this interest for coordination with other teams of Indivisible 9th as our communications protocol develops.

    Be concrete and limit data to facts. These are names, places, dates, times, and other numbers. An idea can be concrete only if named individuals are accredited.

    Yvette Clark’s Committees and Subcommittees

    The following is aimed at developing a Research Group

    Energy and Commerce Committee

    Energy and Commerce are the oldest standing legislative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Committee is vested with jurisdiction over matters relating to healthcare, energy, consumer safety, telecommunications, and trade.

    • Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
      • This subcommittee reviews electronic communications, both Interstate and foreign, including voice, video, audio, and data, whether transmitted by wire or wirelessly, and whether transmitted by telecommunications, commercial or private mobile service, broadcast, cable, satellite, microwave, or other mode; technology generally; emergency and public safety communications. The primary concern is cybersecurity, privacy, and data security. The main agencies are the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Office of Emergency Communications in the Department of Homeland Security; and all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Subcommittee on Energy
      • This subcommittee examines national energy policy; fossil energy; renewable energy; nuclear energy; nuclear facilities. The main agencies are the Department of Energy; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A primary concern is the use of synthetic and alternative fuels; energy conservation; energy information; utility issues; interstate energy compacts; energy generation, marketing, reliability, transmission, siting, exploration, production, efficiency, cybersecurity, and rate making for all generated power; and pipelines. This committee is responsible for the laws, programs, and government activities affecting energy matters and its jurisdiction as they relate to the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
      • The committee’s responsibility is to conduct the evaluation of agencies, departments, and programs related to the jurisdiction of the full committee on oversight and investigations.
    • Subcommittee on Health
      • This committee’s primary concern is with issues related to public health and quarantine, drug abuse, hospital construction; mental health; biomedical research, and health information technology. The main concern is privacy, and cybersecurity; public health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid) and private health insurance, including medical malpractice and malpractice insurance. The regulation of food, drugs, and cosmetics is also a prime responsibility. The main agencies are the Department of Health and Human Services; the National Institutes of Health; the Centers for Disease Control; Indian Health Service; and all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Subcommittee on Environment
      • This committee examines all matters related to soil, air, and water contamination, including Superfund and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The primary concern is the regulation of solid, hazardous, and nuclear wastes, including mining, nuclear, oil, gas, and coal combustion waste. The authorizations derive from the Clean Air Act on air emissions.  The nation’s emergency environmental response in industrial plant security, including cybersecurity; the regulation of drinking water (Safe Drinking Water Act), including underground injection of fluids (e.g., deep well injection or hydro-fracking). The regulation of toxic substances (Toxic Substances Control Act) including noise; and all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection
      • Interstate and foreign commerce, including all trade matters within the jurisdiction of the full committee; regulation of commercial practices (the Federal Trade Commission), including sports-related matters; consumer affairs and consumer protection, including privacy matters generally; data security; consumer product safety (the Consumer Product Safety Commission); product liability; motor vehicle safety; and regulation of travel, tourism, and time.

    Small Business Committee

    Initially a “select committee” it a became permanent standing committee in 1975, the House members granted legislative jurisdiction and oversight to protect and assist small businesses. The Committee has jurisdiction over matters related to small business financial aid, regulatory flexibility, and paperwork reduction. Additionally, the House Small Business Committee has legislative authority over the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its programs.

    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade
      • The committee addresses policies that enhance rural economic growth, increasing America’s energy independence as focused on how well small businesses can compete effectively in a global marketplace. There are five oversight responsibilities 1) on all agricultural policies, 2) on environmental issues and regulations (including agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers), 3, regarding energy issues, including expansion of domestic resources whether they are renewable or non-renewable. The remaining concerns regard international trade policy with particular emphasis on agencies that provide direct assistance to small businesses. The main bodies are the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) the Office of International Trade, the Department of Commerce’s United States Export Assistance Centers, the Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, and the Export-Import Bank. Oversight of infringement of intellectual property rights by foreign competition is also a major concern.
    • Subcommittee on Health and Technology
      • The committee addresses how healthcare policies may inhibit or promote economic growth and job creation by small businesses. Members examine small business job growth through the creation and adoption of advanced technologies. Oversight includes implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Maintaining the availability and affordability of health care coverage for small businesses is a top concern. The committee examines general technology issues, including intellectual property policy in the United States, telecommunications policies including, but not limited to, the National Broadband Plan and allocation of electromagnetic spectrum. The Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program are the main implementation resources
    • Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access
      • This committee evaluates the operation of the financial markets in the United States and their ability to provide capital to small businesses. It reviews federal programs, overseen by the SBA. The impact of federal tax policies on small businesses requires oversight of capital access and financial markets and the Implementation and revision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. All SBA financial assistance programs, including guaranteed loans, microloans, certified development company loans, and small business investment companies are its central concern, including the Department of Agriculture business and industry guaranteed loan program. The management of the SBA disaster loan program is included in its oversight responsibilities.
    • Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations
      • This committee examines the operation of government programs that affect small businesses, including the SBA. It creates proposals to improve cost-effectiveness, and it reviews the regulatory burdens and how they may be alleviated. Oversight includes all issues affecting small businesses and federal agencies, the management of the SBA, and the SBA’s Inspector General. It oversees the implementation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget. It uses the Congressional Review Act. It calls for transparency of the federal rulemaking process as required by the Administrative Procedure and Data Quality Acts and supports the implementation of the Paperwork Reduction Act.
      • Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce
        • This committee assesses the federal procurement system, including the participation of small businesses in providing goods and services to the federal government. The committee examines technical assistance services to small businesses in general and reviews the broad scope of workforce issues that affect the ability of small businesses to obtain and maintain qualified employees. Oversight includes government-wide procurement practices and policies that inhibit or expand participation by small businesses in the federal contracting marketplace. All contracting programs established by the Small Business Act, including HUBZone, 8(a), Women-, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Programs. Technical assistance through SBA personnel as it involves the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers The committee also oversees the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee program all federal policies that affect the workforce including, but not limited to, the roles of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. The SBA’s entrepreneurial development and technical assistance programs unrelated to participation in the federal government contracting is of equal interest.

    Ethics Committee 5R 4D

    The Committee on Ethics derives from authority granted under House Rules and federal statutes. Various authorizing rules govern the scope of the Committee’s role, and laws  see: http://ethics.house.gov/search/node/jurisdiction

    • There are no subcommittees

    Other Areas of Interest to RESEARCH

    Yvette Clarke is also involved with
    Congressional Progressive Caucus  https://cpc-grijalva.house.gov
    Congressional Black Caucus http://www.cbcfinc.org

    Evaluating the State of Congressional District Nine

    It is reasonable for Indivisible Ninth to provide our representatives with supports of every kind.  RESEARCH if Indivisible Ninth can imagine strengthening the position of Evette Clarke in the U.S. Congress in a variety of ways. Our goal is to do so until it becomes necessary or apparent for us not do so. That is our right as voters.

    We also recognize that representing the Ninth Congressional District and the community is a family tradition of the Clarke family.  Yvette’s mother, Una Clark is a Former NYC Councilmember, 40th District, Brooklyn, New York, and in June 2015, Major Bill DeBlasio appointed Mrs. Clarke to the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York (CUNY), an institution that breaks down barriers and glass ceilings with great success.

    A goal of Indivisible Ninth is to assure it reflects in its membership the people of this district based on what they know is right outside their front door and what they feel in their hearts as voters.  The Indivisible Ninth membership sees its diversity as one of the great powers of NYC that must be respected, whether we citizens or not, whether native or foreign-born, of any racial or ethnic origin that we care to describe ourselves.  We will stand as one and make our views known to one another.

    See on the demography of CD9 for details.  In brief, CD9 has over 750,000 people. Name a country; we have people from there.  Our West Indian population is our largest, our Congressperson, Yvette Clarke has Jamaican roots. District Nine has a growing population from the Middle East and Latin America.  We are old and young, white, brown and black and we like it that way. We will fight to keep our diversity with every resource at our command.