How Affordable Housing Impacts Communities & Boosts Your Local Economy
This article presents the issues surrounding the lack of affordable housing as well as the positive impact affordable housing has on communities and how it boosts local economies.
With the economy hurting due to the pandemic, the lack of affordable housing is at the forefront of issues suffered by low-wage workers and their families. The increasing number of homeless veterans is exacerbating the immediate need for housing, not to mention the veterans in the process of transition from the military who still need to establish a residence.
Creating affordable housing in every community not only eliminates homelessness and lessens the financial burden of those struggling, but it also beneficial to the community in many ways. One of the most important benefits of affordable housing is that it will boost your local economy.
Below we will discuss common myths surrounding affordable housing, why the lack of them is hurting communities, and how the community can benefit from new affordable housing developments. We’ll also share some ways affordable housing can be funded at the local level and how Vendaval Corp's development project will support the residents, community, and local economy.
The Misconceptions Surrounding Affordable Housing
"Myths and misconceptions about affordable housing developments are based on fear around negative stereotypes, property values, and the change it brings to neighborhoods—all of which are common arguments in opposition of a new affordable housing community." (1)
These misconceptions can be mitigated by educating your community. Affordable housing, if planned and developed thoughtfully, can enrich the community and support local businesses. It can bring beneficial change if consideration of how it impacts the entire community is taken into account. "Supporting affordable housing initiatives means investing in your community’s well-being." (1)
Why Affordable Housing is Important to Communities & Local Economies
High housing prices can slow down a local economy, leaving jobs unfilled and less spending power in a community. "The lack of safe, affordable housing is costing U.S. cities in several dramatic ways. Cities that fail to step up with affordable housing solutions drive out residents, lose potential workers, and discourage growth in their local economies.” (1)
Here are just a few ways affordable housing can create a positive impact on local economies:
- More money spent in local communities now that more people are living there.
- Fewer evictions means residents can stay in the community and continue to support the local economy.
- Healthier population means a healthier economy.
- More affordable housing creates more job opportunities.
- Improved government infrastructure within your community.
- Better opportunities for investing in the future.
The benefits of affordable housing development greatly outweigh any risks argued by the opposition. "Greater tax generation, creation of jobs, opportunities for economic development, increased job retention and productivity, and the ability to address inequality — all are among the economic benefits of increased access to quality, affordable housing." (2)
How to Create Affordable Housing in Your Community
In April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the allocation of almost $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to help communities create affordable housing and provide services for people who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. (3)
"The $4.925 billion in HOME-ARP funding gives states the flexibility to best meet the needs of people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, including through the development of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, supportive services, and acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter units. Funds must be spent by 2030." (3)
Although this is great news, you don’t have to rely solely on federal funding. There are other ways to finance affordable housing. From establishing a housing finance agency (HFA) and looking for city funding, to seeking out public-private memberships or starting an accelerator fund, it’s possible to get creative when funding an affordable housing project. (4)
At Vendaval we recognize that the need for affordable housing is at a crisis level, especially for veterans as they transition from warriors to workers. This is why we are building a self-sustaining, mixed-use development. Our vision is to not only build apartments, but to create purpose, and establish a vibrant community for veterans, independent-living seniors, and anybody who needs a roof over their heads.
- Dolan, Chelsea. 6 Ways Affordable Housing Can Boost Local Economies. CommonBond Communities. https://commonbond.org/economic-benefits-of-affordable-housing/. 2020, 29 Sept.
- Habitat for Humanity. The Impact of Housing Affordability on the Economy. https://www.habitat.org/costofhome/housing-affordability-and-economy. Retrieved 2021, 13 May.
- HUD Announces $5 Billion to Increase Affordable Housing to Address Homelessness. HUD No. 21-055. HUD Public Affairs. https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_21_055. 2021, 8 April.
- O’Donnell, Erin. Five Ways Local Governments Can Spur Development of Affordable Housing. Next City. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/five-ways-local-governments-can-spur-development-of-affordable-housing. 2020, 30 June.