Aerial shot of Gardner House mural

7 Ways Affordable Housing Improves Neighborhoods

There are a lot of rumors and misinformation about affordable housing. The term “projects” has been unfairly used to stigmatize subsidized housing too. This all comes from misunderstandings about what affordable housing truly is, and how it affects neighborhoods.

The research is clear — affordable housing is good for neighborhoods, and here are seven ways it keeps neighborhoods vibrant and healthy.

1. Increases Property Values

A study by Stanford University found that affordable housing in neighborhoods can increase property values.

2. Affordable Housing Stays Rented

Not one state in the U.S. has an adequate supply of affordable housing. In many cities, rent continues to rise. When an affordable housing home becomes available, it gets rented very quickly. This translates to buildings that stay occupied, parks are used, and stores and businesses are frequented — communities thrive.

3. More Spending

10.8 million renters are severely cost-burdened (paying more than 30% of their income on rent). Affordable housing offers people with low incomes a rent that’s within their means. That means they have more disposable income to spend on food, healthcare, and other essentials. That’s good for those families and local businesses. Everyone benefits.

4. Jobs

Construction, refurbishments, and renovations create local jobs when affordable homes are built. In just the first year of construction, affordable housing can create up to 161 jobs for locals.

5. Increased Government Revenue

A report by Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding, A Place to Call Home,  “100 affordable rental homes generates $2.2 million.” The argument against affordable housing, that it ‘costs taxpayers’ money,’ doesn’t add up.

6. Decrease Crime

We have all heard the rumor that affordable housing increases crime. There is no evidence to support that. Some studies have even found that affordable housing decreases crime.

7. Higher Education and Earnings

Segregated neighborhoods are hurtful in every way possible. Racially it’s unjust, and it creates generational poverty. A study in Chicago found that housing segregation lowers income and education attainment — hurting entire communities.