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Follow the Data Podcast: Bringing Cities in Crisis Together to Tackle Housing Unaffordability

San Antonio cityscape skyline aerial view

Across the country and around the world, housing costs are soaring.

Rents rose by 6.2% annually in 2022, after growing by almost 15% in 2021, according to Yardi Matrix.

And the impacts of these rising costs are clear: research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that nearly one third of renters did not pay or were late with the rent at least once in 2022.

For several years, the Bloomberg Associates Sustainability team has worked closely with our client cities to address key housing affordability issues. This effort led to Bloomberg Associates and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ partnership with NYU’s Furman Center for Housing and Real Estate and Abt Associates to create the Bloomberg Peer Cities Housing Network in Summer 2020.

The Network, a program that worked with a nationwide group of city leaders to address pressing housing-related needs, provided resources and guidance – and the opportunity to exchange learnings with cities facing similar challenges. This met a particularly urgent need during the pandemic as local governments challenged existing thinking and responded rapidly to convert hotels into housing, to provide residents with direct cash assistance, and more.

On this episode, Katherine Oliver sits down with Ingrid Gould Ellen, who serves as the Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and is on the faculty of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Vero Soto, the former Director of the Neighborhood & Housing Services Department of the City of San Antonio, who now spearheads the U.S. Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance program; and Adam Freed, the Sustainability Principal of Bloomberg Associates. They discuss how cities responded to housing problems posed by COVID-19, and how the Bloomberg Peer Cities Housing Network helped to facilitate these initiatives.

You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:

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