pc_nycforeclosures_forweb_11-05-08_forweb1New York is a city of neighborhoods—most of them residential neighborhoods. New York is also a city of renters—two-thirds of us secure housing through renting. While news about the foreclosure crisis and its fallout goes global, the housing impacts are irrefutably local and imply different burdens for different cities.

For example, foreclosure filings in New York City doubled between 2004 and 2007—more than twice the rate for New York State. A report by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy points out that while 40 percent of the 2007 foreclosure filings affected condos and single-family buildings, 60 percent of the filings were levied on 2-4 family buildings. That translates into a loss of housing for more than 76, 000 New Yorkers—at least 38,000 of whom are renters. Housing options that had opened up in the last decade through the efforts of community development corporations, community and housing advocates, creative housing programs, faith-based groups, and immigrant entrepreneurs brought remarkable changes to areas of New York that had been hardest hit by the disinvestment of the 1970’s and 1980s—those advances could be lost as foreclosures claim chunks of neighborhoods and affordable housing stock.

The forces that led to the recent collapse of the lending industry lie far beyond and outside of the control of hard-hurt New York neighborhoods, but the solutions to the foreclosure crisis must be tailored to fit the needs of individual cities and neighborhoods. Solutions must also come from an understanding of the impact of New York’s previously hot real estate market, rezonings, private lending practices, and housing programs; all of which points toward a partnership among the public, private, and non-profit sectors to figure out where to go from here.

As part of this needed dialogue, on Monday, November 10, from 6-8 pm, the MAS Planning Center will host Foreclosed: How Will New York’s Neighborhoods Recover?, a panel discussion among city policymakers, financial justice advocates, housing advocates, and researchers that will begin to address whether the planning and development community in New York has a role in mitigating or even preventing the impacts of the foreclosure crisis. The discussion will focus on getting useful information to planners and community-based organizations, but will also engage the different perspectives of panelists and audience members to begin a dialogue about what still needs to happen to prevent the sub-prime market debacle and foreclosures from becoming the next harbingers of systematic disinvestment and displacement.

The panelists are Michael Hickey, Executive Director, Center for New York City Neighborhoods; Josh Zinner, Co-Director, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project; Mark Winston-Griffith, Fellow, Drum Major Institute; Cathy Mickens, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services, Jamaica; and Ingrid Gould Ellen, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The moderator will be Eva Hanhardt, Professor, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment.

Admission is free but please reserve on-line at MAS.org or 212/935-2075.

The Planning Center regularly hosts panel discussions on topics of general interest to both planners working directly with communities and to community advocates in New York City. These forums are a part of our broader mission to help community organizations and neighborhood advocates confront the planning, land use, and economic development issues facing their neighborhoods, particularly in low- and moderate-income communities.