Racial Impact Studies

The Story

A proposed new law in New York City would require all land-use decisions to include a “racial-impact study.” The proposal is meant to ameliorate or counter the supposedly negative effects of gentrification. But more regulation won’t solve New York’s housing problems.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Displaced? There is no evidence that gentrification leads to displacement, and poor residents’ incomes actually rise when neighborhoods gentrify. Read more.

  2. Industrial: The bill’s sponsor cites a study contending that “upzoning” the Greenpoint waterfront led to a massive shift in the percentage of white and Latino residents–but the area was largely industrial and thinly populated. Read more.

  3. Regs: Tight government regulation of the New York housing market since the 1940s has not alleviated the city’s housing crisis. Read more.

“Far more of the long-suffering poor move out of high-poverty neighborhoods that stay poor than move away from high-poverty neighborhoods that see a significant reduction in poverty.”

Joe Cortright, Impresa

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Why Spike Lee Is Wrong About Gentrification By Kay S. Hymowitz (Autumn 2015)

“One final reason that a wary middle class was enticed back to cities: a dramatic decline in crime. The story is widely known by now: murders in New York City plummeted 85 percent between 1990 and 2014.”

And in other news...

“Albany’s checkered history of excessive spending, debt and taxation is proof enough that the executive budget system isn’t perfect.”