Many communities cite opposition to new housing developments under the guise of concerns about the impact of traffic, schools, and the environment according to developers. School impacts are of concern when communities are operating under the assumption that households qualifying for affordable housing have a higher number of school-aged children than a new non-subsidized housing development, particularly when the subsidized development is applying for a property tax concession that will affect the school tax base. But recent research in New York has suggested that this assumption may not betrue, and it is clear more research is needed on how to address this area of community concern.
The most direct sign that community opposition is against affordable housing developments is that twenty percent of developers mentioned opposition to the actual residents expected to be served by the development. Dispelling the use of terms used for residents categorized as “those people”, “welfare recipients”,“homeless”, “special needs”, and “renters,“ is necessary to eliminate the irrational fears and misinformation driving opposition. As housing need increases around the state, a better understanding of who, why, and how affordable housing is built is needed.
Communities put significant effort into opposing affordable housing developments using a variety of tactics, from traditional communications strategies, to social media campaigns, and legal challenges. Nearly half of developers say their development projects are commonly targeted through information campaigns, such as flyers, petitions, and yard signs distributed throughout the community.
House New York (HNY), a 501c3 affiliate of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH) was formed to help combat NIMBYISM and gentrification concerns that arise from many proposed new developments. HNY hopes to better educate community members, community boards, and other stakeholders to help dismiss these irrational fears. The organization hopes to better identify community need and improvement plans related to affordable,senior, and supportive housing through original research and information sharing services. Anticipated studies on:
- Unfair zoning laws and regulations
- Community need
- Legal obligation to build housing for all residents
- Tax implication and benefit of building new housing stock
Welcome to House New York and organization providing affordable housing education and research!