Community Service Society
Co-authored by Celeste Hornbach, #UnequalCities Network members Oksana Mironova and Samuel Stein, and Jacob Udell
Summary: Hundreds of thousands of tenants in New York State are facing growing rent arrears, potentially setting off a chain reaction that could lead to a rental building foreclosure crisis comparable in scale to the 2008 crash. While the pandemic’s economic impacts would be the trigger, this crisis would be rooted in an older problem: the risky approach to real estate finance adopted by many New York landlords and investors over the past 25 years.
Even though the real estate market is cyclical, New York State does not have to follow the post-2008 crisis trajectory. This report investigates how, with intervention from policymakers, we can pursue a recovery that both stabilizes distressed buildings and grows the state’s social housing sector, a model that is not as susceptible to fluctuations in the real estate market.