Panel: Housing Supply and Affordability in Spatially Segregated Cities
(Housing, Community Development, and Urban Policy)

Saturday, November 9, 2019: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
I.M Pei Tower: Terrace Level, Columbine (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Ann Owens, University of Southern California
Panel Chair:  Eva Rosen, Georgetown University
Discussants:  Ingrid Gould Ellen, New York University and Britta Fisher, City & County of Denver

This panel presents novel findings on the uneven supply and affordability of rental units across neighborhoods and cities. The panel is composed of four studies from researchers across disciplines and universities, and two discussants, including one academic scholar and one local housing policymaker, the Chief Housing Officer for the City & County of Denver.

The first two studies examine the cost and type of units available across neighborhoods and housing market segments. One paper examines the degree to which different types of housing are segregated across neighborhoods. The author finds that segregation between single-family homes and multifamily units and between homes for sale and for rent increased from 1990 to 2014. Since households sort into different types of housing units by socio-economic status, a segregated housing supply is strongly correlated with household income segregation across neighborhoods and places.

The next paper examines how pricing of rental units varies by unit and neighborhood quality, and the author finds a very low spread in rents between housing units of very different quality in Milwaukee. Namely, households earning an additional $50,000 annually will only pay $70 more dollars a month for higher unit and neighborhood qualities. Evidence suggests this is partly due to low demand for rental housing among higher income households and high demand among low-income households. The author also examines the role of landlord market power in the rental market. Areas of higher market concentration correspond with inexpensive properties, lower vacancies, and higher rates of renting suggesting the low-spread in rents can partly be explained through landlord monopoly power.

The second pair of studies investigate landlords' desire to enter and exit the rental market and how this varies across neighborhoods and cities. One study uses administrative Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) data and exploits HCV program variation across cities to investigate the spatial factors correlated with a landlord's willingness to accept voucher holders. Their study is motivated by interviews with landlords, through which they found that over 70% of landlords previously accepting voucher-holding tenants stopped participating after a bad experience. 

The last paper investigates landlords' differential willingness to supply rental units across space through the lens of evictions. Using data on no-fault and court-processed evictions, the authors examine the neighborhood factors that influence the quantity and type of evictions pursued by landlords. Preliminary results suggest that neighborhoods experiencing robust income and rent growth see divergent trends in court-processed and no fault evictions over time. A neighborhood’s share of black residents is the most consistent predictor of localized eviction rates, echoing prior research on individual-level determinants of evictions. 

Overall, the panel engages questions about how the supply, type, and cost of housing varies across segregated space with an emphasis on affordable units, their residents, and their landlords. The panel will provide lessons for housing and urban policymakers about how local neighborhood conditions shape and are shaped by local rental housing supply and markets.

Building Inequality: How Housing Segregation Shapes Income Segregation
Ann Owens, University of Southern California

Small Rent Spreads across Housing Unit and Neighborhood Quality in Milwaukee
Evgeny Burinskiy, University of Southern California

Entries and Exits of Voucher Subsidized Stock: Modeling Unit Retention in the Housing Choice Voucher Stock
Philip M.E. Garboden, University of Hawaii, Manoa and Eva Rosen, Georgetown University

The Neighborhood Context of Eviction in Southern California
Michael Lens1, Kyle Nelson1, Ashley Gromis2 and Xavier Kuai1, (1)University of California, Los Angeles, (2)Princeton Eviction Lab