Three new resources look at economic benefits of affordable housing, messaging for housing advocacy, and a serious falloff in rental supply for extremely low income families nationwide.
Is Affordable Housing Good for the Economy? Yes, Says Literature Review
Investment in affordable housing is good for local economies, according to a new literature review by the Center for Housing Policy. The review suggests that affordable housing projects bolster local spending and employment, serve as a revenue source for local governments, and reduce the chance of foreclosure for homeowners. The paper, The Role of Affordable Housing in Creating Jobs and Stimulating Development, also explores how employers and the regional economy benefit from affordable housing. For a related Minnesota study, see MHP’s 2009 report Housing as a Lever for Economic Stimulus by Jon Commers.
Matching Messages for Housing Preservation to the Ears that Hear Them
In the January 2011 newsletter of the National Housing Trust, Michael Bodaken urges advocates to consider the mandates facing our legislators and to speak to them about housing in language that looks for a common interest. He emphasizes that housing preservation cuts costs, creates jobs, and is an energy efficient solution. This concise overview is useful local, state, and national housing advocates working to create and preserve housing as we weather the current tough economy.
Severe Drop in Rental Supply for Low-Income Households
In only two years, the number of extremely low income renter households nationwide increased by almost 8% to 10 million households, while the number of units affordable to them fell by 8%, to only 6.5 million units. The net result? the absolute shortage of units affordable to these households, which earned 30% or less of the area median income, grew from 2.1 million to 3.4 million, according to a preliminary analysis of 2007 and 2009 American Housing Survey data by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.