Craig Campbell, Assistant Director, Policy and Operations, Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics
City of New York
Many landlords in New York have earned a reputation for disrespecting the city’s housing vouchers and rent regulations. While some landlords refuse to accept housing vouchers, others have been known to harass rent-regulated residents in an attempt to provoke them to leave. It’s not uncommon for landlords to significantly increase the cost of rent after a tenant moves out of a rent-regulated unit.
The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) built ownership cluster models for buildings in 24 neighborhoods, grouping properties based on common characteristics—for example, mailing addresses for tax bills—to identify clusters of buildings belonging to the same landlords who had the highest potential to conduct discriminatory practices. To identify actual discriminatory behavior, the office sent city employees to these locations to check for policy violations.
Using insights derived from MODA’s analytics process, the City’s Council on Human Rights has prosecuted several prominent landlords and management companies.