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Showing posts from 2024

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is a terrible program. What is it? It is the principal path the federal government adopted to provide low-income housing except it doesn't. LIHTC birthed in Reagan's infamous tax bill of 1986, gave  private investors  "a federal income tax credit as an incentive to make equity investments in affordable rental housing." If a developer agrees to 20 percent of the units being so called low-income, then the developer is eligible for the tax credit for those units. However, there are two major flaws: the units are not really low-income and the entire program disappears after 30 years when the developer can charge market rates.  LIHTC became the brainchild of the real estate industry that was desperate to stop the construction of public housing in which the real estate sages could not profit. And stop it they did. Now, almost 40 years later, even liberal think tanks, like the Urban Institute, will laud the successes of LIHTC. After

Critical Moments during Fiscal Crises

 I am writing a second edition to my first book, Follow the Money, and have found interesting events that I had never heard or read about before. My book is an examination of how New York City mayors responded to the demands of federal and state officials as well as financial elites to the city's 1975 fiscal crisis in which city officials were forced to reduce the city's expenditures in order to balance the budget and avoid bankruptcy. Before I write about an interesting event, let me discuss the two political theories are often used to explain decision making around city resources. The first competing theory is pluralism.  The best example of a community power study examining liberal pluralism is Robert Dahl’s famous study of New Haven, Connecticut, Who Governs ?  Dahl concluded that there were multiple centers of power in which groups would come together in different configurations for a particular urban issue. In effect, there are a collection of interest groups all sharing

Why Isn't NYCHA within the Purview of NYS Public Authorities Budget Office?

 Reinvent Albany , a NY nonpartisan organization advocating open government, has called upon the NYS legislature to allow the State's Public Authorities Budget Office (ABO) oversight over the NYC's Public Housing Authority. Who knew that the ABO did not? Most people did not know that NYCHA had been conveniently left out of the authorities for which the ABO had oversight. Only the serious policy wonks knew about this slight quirk that all municipal housing authorities had been left out of ABO's jurisdiction. How many public authorities are there in the State of New York? In December 2019, the State Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations led by Senator James Skoufis issued a critique of the current law s governing public authorities. "As of July 2019, there are 583 active public authorities, an increase of 298, or by 126 percent, since July 2008, when the ABO issued its first annual report." "The current inventory of covered public autho