Research , Studies

Affordable Housing and Historic Districts


Affordable housing dominates New York City’s public policy discourse. And for years, it’s been used as a tool to attack historic preservation efforts.

Until now.

The Historic Districts Council engaged an independent housing and planning consultant to analyze the data and get the facts.

Funded by the New York Community Trust, the result is the first-ever quantitative and peer-reviewed study of the interplay between affordable housing and historic district designation in our city.

Here’s what we discovered:


Historic districts mean stable housing. Rent burden increases at a slower rate in historic districts than in the rest of the city, and tenants are almost always likelier to retain their rent subsidies.


Historic districts don’t make the rent too damn high. Incomes tend to rise with rents in historic districts, and subsidized housing is built even after historic districts are designated.

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