Leah Pickett, MUP 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: NYC Housing Preservation & Development, New York, NY

Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship

” Last week, HPD officially announced its receipt (and subsequent allocation) of a $1.65 million grant through Enterprise’s new Community Land Trusts Capacity Building Initiative. This was an exciting moment considering the scope of my summer work.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Center for New York City Neighborhoods (CNYCN) to hear about their new research on East New York & Cypress Hills. The study we learned about centered on a few key research questions:

–          How are market forces impacting low-to-moderate income (LMI) homeowners/tenants in low-rise neighborhoods?

–          What are the major housing-related pressures that put LMI homeowners at risk of losing homes to foreclosure?

–          What happens to financially-precarious homeowners when they leave their homes? What happens to their homes?

–          What kind of policy and program interventions are needed to better support these homeowners and their tenants?

Though this research is ongoing and not yet publicly available, some of the Center’s findings on house flipping in East New York—a topic addressed in the new research that I found particularly interesting—can be found here: http://cnycn.org/2016/04/house-flipping-is-a-flop-for-nyc-neighborhoods/./ This online tool is really interesting and worth a visit—it does a great job illustrating the challenges faced by homeowners and renters in neighborhoods experiencing rapid change.

This week I finished working with my supervisor and legal counsel to draft a CLT framework. I’m hoping that this working document and my presentation next week will effectively tee up high-level policy discussions regarding how the city wants to structure the CLT overlay. Some of the lingering questions I personally have about CLTs overall include:

–          How should CLTs be taxed? Should they receive a full tax exemption under Article 11?

–          How can the resale formula best balance wealth-building and affordability targets?

–          How prescriptive should HPD’s CLT policy be? Which components of the CLT structure are most important to define?”