The H+T Index should be used to site affordable housing, because it can identify which high-opportunity areas also are truly affordable in terms of transportation costs.
A Bronx-based building known as the birthplace of hip-hop has been the subject of a high-profile tug of war between gambling real-estate investors and an eclectic yet powerful group of tenants, housing advocates, city agencies, local politicians, and hip-hop artists. The building’s well-publicized plight has helped shine a light on the threat predatory equity poses to affordable multifamily housing.
Factoring in costs that tend to be lower in urban high-poverty neighborhoods, but not costs that tend to be higher there makes the H+T Index unsuitable as a tool for locating low-income housing.
As some cities begin to admit they are shrinking, CDCs in high-abandonment neighborhoods are rethinking their traditional roles, and even their missions.
When predatory equity investors take a gamble on multifamily housing, it's the tenants who suffer -- whether from harassment or crumbling buildings. Advocates and tenants in New York have won the fight to get some of these buildings into responsible hands, but many are still in limbo, and some are reentering the cycle of speculation.
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is dealing with an evolving set of discrimination challenges facing families, changes in the very definition of "family," and the political realities of the 112th Congress. Trasviña is no stranger to this balancing act.