When Costs of Living Outpace Housing Costs

Even when they qualify for affordable rents, tenants in high-cost neighborhoods find themselves shut out of essential amenities and services.

May 10, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Two people carry groceries in plastic grocery bags.

Emilija Miljkovic / Shutterstock

Residents who qualify for affordable housing developments are, in some areas, finding the cost of living in their immediate neighborhoods too high. A New York Times article by D.W. Gibson profiles one resident of Southampton, New York, who qualified for an apartment in a development sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but now struggles to afford groceries and other goods locally, such as access to the local beach, which requires a $250 parking permit. “I have to leave here to do my shopping — even the supermarkets are too expensive,” says Liza Coppola. “She says most of the people she knows in the Shinnecock community [where she works] face a similar dynamic of being priced out of the place they live.”

Coppola says she was lucky to snag an apartment in a HUD building, which typically have years-long waiting lists. “Because she’s spent years working on housing issues — first at a nonprofit in Greenport and now with the Shinnecock community — Ms. Coppola knew she would qualify for HUD developments projects intended for people making less than the area median income of $100,722.” But she and others like her find themselves leaving the neighborhood to access affordable services. This dynamic could lead to displacement as residents of increasingly desirable areas find themselves priced out of local amenities, signaling a need for a more comprehensive approach to neighborhood affordability where housing is recognized as one of a number of factors driving displacement.

Monday, May 9, 2022 in The New York Times

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Protected bike lane New York

How To Sustain the E-Bike Boom: Make Riders Feel Safe

Riders of electric and non-electric bikes alike agree that they would ride more if they felt safer on city streets, signaling a need for an increased focus on bike infrastructure.

3 minutes ago - Bloomberg

Urban Solar Power

Zoning Stands in the Way of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is cheap as ever, but zoning isn’t keeping up with the market.

1 hour ago - Popular Science

Walkable DC

Mixed Use Could Lower Neighborhood Crime Rates

New research shows areas with a heavy concentration of commercial offices experience 40 percent higher crime rates than neighborhoods that mix residential and commercial uses.

2 hours ago - Arch Daily

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.