Affordable housing

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The term affordable housing is used to categorize the degree to which people can afford to rent or buy housing. The metric often applied is whether housing is affordable for those residents who have median household incomes, as per their location (Thadani, 2010). A common guideline for considering market rate housing affordable is if residents spend thirty percent or less of their gross income on housing. Note that some researchers use 35 percent as a measure and others propose a residual income approach that suggests that costs other than housing, such as child and healthcare and transportation be factored into affordability measures.

While traditional perspectives on affordable housing have focused on income to housing cost ratios alone, a transit-oriented view has been gaining in popularity among those focused on housing affordability (Haughey and Sherriff, 2010). The latter view shifts emphasis from simply creating "cheap" housing to addressing the holistic needs of low and moderate-income residents by locating inexpensive housing near employment centers, transit (dependable bus, busways, street cars, light and heavy rail commuter service and subways) and essential services (Haughey and Sherriff, 2010).

While traditional perspectives on affordable housing have focused on income to housing cost ratios alone, a transit-oriented view has been gaining in popularity among those focused on housing affordability (Haughey and Sherriff, 2010). The latter view shifts emphasis from simply creating "cheap" housing to addressing the holistic needs of low and moderate-income residents by locating inexpensive housing near employment centers, transit (dependable bus, busways, street cars, light and heavy rail commuter service and subways) and essential services (Haughey and Sherriff, 2010).

Wikipedia: "Affordable Housing"  ("This article has multiple issues. пожалуйста help.)

Chicago

In Chicago the planning department defines affordable housing as follows:

"Housing affordable to households whose income does not exceed fifty (50) percent of the metropolitan median household income, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing must remain affordable continuously for a period of not less than fifteen (15) years to qualify as affordable housing."

Outline of Article

Different definitions of "affordable housing."

Here are current U.S. definitions.  Note that public housing is defined by who runs it (the government), while income limits can vary by country.  In the US, the limit is 50% area median income.  In Singapore, it's around 150% AMI.  Sweden has no income limits at all.

Affordable Housing
- a blanket term for any housing that isn't market rate.
 

Public Housing
- managed by a government's Housing Authority. 
- Typical qualifying income: in the US, below 50% of area median income (AMI).  In Oakland, for a 4 person household, 50% of AMI is $48,750 a year.

- Rent: usually set at 30% of monthly adjusted income, regardless of income.  Those with zero income pay a nominal amount, such as $25. 

- Construction costs paid for by government funds.
- Mostly built between the 1930s and 1970s.
 
Below Market Rate (BMR) Unit
- managed by nonprofit or private business. 
- Typical qualifying income: below 50-90% of area median income (AMI)
- Rent: fixed regardless of tenant income, typically such that a household making 50% AMI pays 30% of their income to rent.
- Usually not affordable to households with income below 50% AMI.
- Construction costs paid for mostly by government funds and tax credits (a mechanism where a company can choose to directly fund housing in lieu of paying taxes).  May also be funded by developer if it's an inclusionary unit within a market rate building. 
- Operating expenses covered by rents.
- Most new affordable housing built today falls in this category.
 
Moderate Income Unit
- managed by nonprofit or private business. 
- Typical qualifying income: 90-120% of AMI
- Rent: fixed regardless of tenant income, typically such that a household making 90% AMI pays 30% of their income to rent.
- Usually not eligible for government or tax credit funding.
- Currently rare
 
Inclusionary Unit
- A BMR or moderate income unit located inside a building that also contains market rate units.
  1.  
    1. Regulated Affordable Housing (LIHTC, Section 8, &c)
    2. Market rate housing that's affordable for everyone in a community
      1. 30% of gross income
      2. Transportation costs and housing


 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Increasing the availability of affordable housing
    1. Policy options for creating more affordable housing (inclusionary zoning, housing subsidies e.g. Section 8 housing vouchers, low income housing tax credits, etc.)
    2. Community land trusts 
    3. Over-crowding
    4. Build more
    5. Increase incomes


 

 

See also

References

Haughey, R. and Ryan Sherriff. (2010). <я>Challenges and Policy Options for Creating and Preserving Affordable Housing near Transit and in
Other Location-Efficient Areas. Retrieved from Urban Institute.

Thadani, D. (2010). <я>The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary. New York: Rizzoli. 

City of Chicago : Land Use Planning and Policy. (n.d.). Retrieved from [1]