The foreclosure crisis is no longer in the headlines but it’s not over, Caroline Nagy, director of policy and research at the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, told City Limits’ Stand-Up Desk on Thursday. Rates of foreclosure remain above where they were before the crisis hit in 2007 and some recent federal policy moves could increase the pressure on working-class homeowners living on the edge.
Not that foreclosure is the only thing homeowners, or policymakers, have to worry about. While the conversation about affordable housing in New York City focuses on rental housing, and the debate about the impact of Mayor de Blasio’s rezonings concentrates on how they’ll affect tenants, homeownership is an important part of those stories. That’s why advocates like Nagy are hoping the city will embrace policies like community land trusts and legalizing basement apartments in a bid to preserve the prospects for moderate-income people to own homes and build assets.
And in a week when the city’s Build it Back program has been under the microscope, Nagy describes CNYCN’s own work with that program and the challenges facing—and tools available to—homeowners in coastal New York’s rather large flood plain.