Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Preserving Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing

As developers across the country increasingly recognize the market advantages of redevelopment oriented around transit, and property values rise in response, hundreds of thousands of units of affordable housing are at risk.
February 5, 2012, 1pm PST | Matthew Brian Hersh
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

Federal rental subsidy contracts affect the affordability of a quarter of a million apartments within walking distance of transit nationwide, and advocates fear owners may opt out of those contracts to take advantage of rising values, forcing out their vulnerable tenants.

There are efforts underway, however, to help preserve affordability near transit, writes Michael Bodaken. In Seattle, Denver, and Atlanta, community development corporations, equipped with good data and flexible financing are working to acquire, preserve, and maintain affordable housing near transit.

"In an environment where resources are scant, preservation becomes a critical priority, as well as an attractive option. Preserving an existing home is significantly less expensive than constructing new affordable housing. Rehabilitating an existing affordable apartment can cost one-third less than building a new apartment. In more expensive communities with high land costs, the cost of building new affordable housing could be as much as double the cost of preserving existing housing."

Thanks to Matthew Brian Hersh

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 in Shelterforce
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email