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PD&R Edge, an online magazine, provides you with a snapshot view of our newly released research, periodicals, publications, news, and commentaries on housing and urban development issues. Stay informed on current topics and check back frequently, as our content is routinely updated.
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PD&R Quarterly Update: Facilitating Successful Office-to-Residential Conversions

On July 25, 2023, HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research hosted a virtual Quarterly Update event that featured two panel discussions examining the opportunities, challenges, and local approaches surrounding office-to-residential conversions. Increased remote work necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic led to high vacancies in downtown office buildings. City officials and representatives from architecture and development firms discussed local examples and strategies, such as tax incentives and regulatory changes to facilitate office-to-residential conversions.

New on PD&R Edge

PD&R Leadership:
Creating a Direct Rental Assistance Demonstration
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is HUD’s largest assisted housing program, helping approximately 2.3 million households rent units in the private market each year. Yet, voucher holders find it increasingly difficult to find suitable rental units on the private market because of source of income discrimination, lack of landlord participation in the HCV program, and tight rental markets. The HCV program currently pays landlords directly on tenants’ behalf. Providing rental assistance directly to the eligible household, rather than to their landlord, could streamline the assistance process and enable more low-income renters to benefit from the program. To study the potential impact of this approach, HUD is looking to partner with national and local philanthropy on a Direct Rental Assistance pilot program.

In Practice:
Affordable Housing Project Serves as a Catalyst to the Revitalization of South Bronx
In 2022, 425 Grand Concourse opened as a mixed-use affordable housing project in New York City’s South Bronx neighborhood, transforming a city-owned lot once home to Public School 31 into one of the tallest structures in the Bronx. The 26-story building is home to 277 affordable housing units, 166 of which are reserved for households earning no more than 70 percent of the area median income. The building sets new standards for energy efficiency and sustainability, receiving certification as a Passive House. The largest Passive House in North America, 425 Grand Concourse achieves a 70 percent reduction in energy consumption compared with conventional housing projects.

New Study Paints a Fuller Picture of Homelessness in California
California is home to 12 percent of the U.S. population, but 30 percent of Americans experiencing homelessness live in the state. In June 2023, the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative released a new report that unpacks the results of the California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness. The study is the largest of its kind since the 1990s. This report offers a nuanced look into the lived experiences of homelessness among California adults. In centering those experiences in the study design and policy recommendations, report authors propose interventions that align with the needs and realities of those experiencing the fallout from inadequate supplies of affordable housing, critical social services, and entrenched social inequities.

PD&R at 50:
50 Years of PD&R’s Gentrification Research
Researchers have long debated how to define and measure gentrification, identify the causal forces that spur gentrification, and determine the range and severity of impacts that gentrification has on low-income households. Scholarship from PD&R has been critical in advancing debates about the conceptualization and measurement of gentrification, but PD&R’s most significant contribution has been understanding the effects of gentrification on displaced residents. This article summarizes PD&R’s exploration of gentrification since its founding in 1973 through its reports and other publications.

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