Falling Through the Cracks? The Distribution of ERAP Spending in New York State

Report by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Ellie Lochhead, Carl Hedman
February 2022

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy   (New York)

This analysis identifies and describes the ZIP Codes in New York City and a subsample of New York State that received lower and higher than expected ERAP applications to inform decisions about how to prioritize areas for other interventions and the allocation of any additional ERA funds that may come to New York State in the future. It finds that low-application outlier ZIP Codes had relatively low rates of pre-pandemic eviction filings and unemployment. These results could suggest that low-application outlier ZIP Codes house populations that are more economically stable and less vulnerable to housing instability. However, it is also possible that communities with lower unemployment and eviction rates prior to the COVID-19 pandemic had weaker infrastructure in place to assist renters with ERAP applications than communities with longer-standing vulnerability. Compared to high-application outlier ZIP Codes, low-application outlier ZIP Codes had higher homeownership rates and lower proportions of homes subsidized by HUD, which might suggest a weaker pre-existing support infrastructure. Finally, in terms of demographics, low-application outlier ZIP Codes had lower shares of renter households who are Black and higher shares of residents who are foreign-born compared to high-application outlier ZIP Codes.