Not in My Yard: Reasonably priced Housing Epidemic Continues | Healthiest Communities Well being Information
Federal officials Recently, the national eviction moratorium was extended to June to allow more time for temporary protection that provides safe, high-quality housing for millions of Americans.
While this protection obviously cannot last forever, the lessons of COVID-19 have made it clear that people without shelter cannot find protection – a home that is reliable. Yet even if a health and economic crisis has inundated US communities, the need for affordable housing is not new.
According to the Coalition’s 2020 Out of Reach report, there was no state or county where a full-time worker earning a minimum wage could afford a two-bedroom rental home at fair market rents. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy is losing about $ 2 trillion in lower wages and productivity annually due to the lack of affordable housing.
However, the biggest hurdle to overcome remains the stigma and prejudice surrounding affordable housing and low-income housing tax credit projects. The NIMBY ism, or not-in-my-backyard bias, now includes race, wealth status, and geography.
Simply put, whether you are rich or poor, you don’t want “them” in your back yard.
In Dallas, for example, this conversation revolves around the phrase “low-income housing tax credit,” which refers to an affordable federal housing program administered by state and local officials. In other parts of the city, it may just be “affordable housing” that triggers the trigger. But this is a national conversation.
In California, proposed state legislation will include zoning changes that will allow for increased housing density, lower environmental hurdles, and the use of loan finance for affordable housing, in hopes of removing previous barriers in today’s business climate.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is trying to change the city’s affordable housing ordinance to address a 116,000 housing shortage by creating more family units and increasing the required proportion of affordable housing developers need to create as part of projects in certain neighborhoods .
The Dallas challenges have been most evident in a lively debate among city council members and constituents both inside and outside a community of who should be the proposed location for low-income, mixed-income tax credit development. The area around the highlands of the lake itself is perceived as more affluent but has more natural affordable housing – that is, it has rental housing that is affordable and not income restricted or subsidized by government programs.
A key principle of the debate: those in other communities support the spread of such projects in the city, while the existing residents said they already felt overwhelmed by poorer residents. Whether it’s an elected official, longtime resident, or social media troll, many people draw conclusions based on an incomplete understanding of what it takes to truly address the growing need for affordable housing to satisfy.
As the managing partner and founder of Innovan Neighborhoods in Dallas, I believe that the nuances of terminology relating to these topics need to be cleared in order to reach consensus and reach an agreement on the housing projects required. For example, the low-income residential property tax credit is a financial tool that provides additional capital to fill the void and make a project affordable for new renters. The type of housing, the affordability of the housing units (ie the mix between market and restricted housing units in a project) and the location of the housing can vary.
Similarly, workforce housing encompasses housing that meets the needs of residents with different incomes while still providing clarity about who lives there – especially people who work. But this is also somewhat redundant: unless someone is living in temporary housing for the temporarily homeless, residents of affordable housing estates spend a percentage of their income on this type of housing, and that income is often earned.
“Accessible housing” is a slightly broader term that can help broaden the housing needs conversation to include middle-income households. But it still has to be used generally.
In order to truly meet the need for affordable housing, housing must be created that is affordable on many income levels, as everyone deserves affordable housing. While this is an incomplete measure, affordability is based on not spending at least 30% of your income on housing costs. Under this rule, a person making, for example, $ 250,000 shouldn’t spend more than $ 75,000 per year ($ 6,250 per month) on housing expenses. Same goes for an individual who makes $ 75,000 and shouldn’t be spending $ 22,500 or more per year (or $ 1,875 per month).
Of course, the political discussion about affordable housing can remain unchanged and focus on a term and phrase that everyone understands and can immediately understand.
However, language is also a form of advocacy and an opportunity to educate about the need to provide safe, high quality and affordable housing to all communities. By changing our language, we can broaden the conversation to include the need to increase financial resources for tenants, landlords and property developers – all while trying to maintain and create homes that will help us grow and sustain our economy.