ULI To Tackle Workforce Housing Crisis

The Washington-based institute has established a new research center to focus on the problem of affordable housing in an effort to prevent further urban sprawl.

"The Urban Land Institute announced the birth of its Center for Workplace Housing, which will initially focus on three markets -- Florida from Palm Beach County to Miami, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. -- in an effort that the nonprofit group hopes will produce 3,500 new units of affordable housing within five years.

The Center will find ways to help create housing for working families who are being pushed farther and farther away from employment centers, said J. Ronald Terwilliger, chief executive of Atlanta-based Trammel Crow Residential, which donated $5 million to the center, which will bear his name."

"Terwilliger said the center will employ experts to try to eliminate obstacles that are preventing affordable housing from being built in Atlanta and other communities...'One major obstacle is local zoning that effectively segregates residents by income,' he said. He said the new center 'must advocate for inclusionary zoning as a way to achieve more mixed-income development.' "

Full Story: Affordable housing plan takes aim at sprawl



DC Area Housing Unattainable

I grew up in North Carolina in the Charlotte area. I moved to Boston for employment and paid $1,100/month for a studio "apartment". I studied affordable housing at Tufts and MIT. Once I receieved my Masters in Planning I began seeking employment. No job in the Boston area paid enough to survive, so I moved to the DC area. I couldn't find a job there that paid enough to cover the expenses of my growing family. So my wife, son, and daughter moved 50 miles south of DC hoping to afford a house there and for me to find planning employment in DC. It turns out that everyone from northern Virginia is cashing in on their houses and buying "mansions" where we lived and the commute to DC was 3 hours each way. The starting housing price in that area was around $700,000. So we found jobs in the Charlotte area and bought a single family house for around $200,000 in a nice area with good schools, low crime, etc. There is no chance that this "Workforce" will help in the DC area. In that market, you either live in an apartment and be happy or move somewhere else and buy a house.


Cameron W. Gardner, PP, AICP

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