[COMM-ORG] Shelterforce Roundtable: How Has the Housing Crisis Changed Affordable, Housing?
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Tue May 29 09:48:03 CDT 2012
From: Shelterforce <shelter at nhi.org>
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How has the housing crisis changed the landscape of affordable housing
in the United
With house prices lower now than they have been in years, we don't
really have to
worry about getting people into homes, right? Not so fast. How much a
is only one of many factors when determining affordability.
Eavesdrop on a fascinating Shelterforce
as we examine the issue of affordability with leading housing
researchers and policy
experts: Dr. Raphael Bostic, outgoing assistant secretary of Policy
Development at HUD; Chris Herbert of the Joint Center for Housing
Studies at Harvard;
Alan Mallach, fellow of NHI, Center for Community Progress and the
Jeff Lubell of the Center for Housing Policy; and Janneke Ratcliffe of
for Community Capital at the University of North Carolina.
Read what they have to say on questions such as: How has the housing
the landscape of affordable housing in the United States? How should we
policy to address the differing needs of hot markets and cold markets?
How do we
increase residential stability? What is the role of existing,
in the affordability discussion?
Full transcript now online!
Alan Mallach and Chris Herbert on affordability:
Mallach: It's an incredibly mixed bag. The variation between markets in
is just enormous, and I suspect it's greater than before the bust. Think
of a market
like Las Vegas now, where last spring, the housing and planning people
city said that, basically, they didn't want to see anymore tax credit
as far as they could tell at this point, it was the people roughly from
of AMI or down who who had the real affordability problems and, in fact,
a whole bunch of tax credit projects on a watch list for potential
they were losing ground. Essentially, they weren't effectively competing
market stuff in the same price range.
Then, at the other end, you've got markets, especially some of the major
markets, where it's pretty clear that private market rental housing is
rents are rising, and the affordability issue, is as great, if not greater.
Herbert: I think that there is a question about where we need new
supply, or whether
we need new supply. But in terms of what's happened with affordability,
across the 100 largest markets, we looked at the share [of households]
than 50 percent of their income for housing over the course of the last
and it was up everywhere. There are variations in markets, and some
fare much worse than others, but the direction was the same.
And a lot of it comes down to the fact that income inequality has been
Incomes among renters fell across over the last decade. And that was not
that was isolated to certain markets. It's true that house prices have
rents did soften, but rents didn't fall that much.
Jeff Lubell on what we don't know about the private market stock:
We know far too little about how most Americans access affordable
housing. We know
far too little about how the market provides affordable housing. We
most of our research energy on the HUD-subsidized stock when most of
who are low-income are living in private market stock. And so we know
about the filtering mechanism that causes more expensive units to
become less expensive.
We know too little about the reverse mechanism that upgrades units.
We don't know enough about how to help families achieve a level of
and stability in private market housing.
Raphael Bostic on preservation of both subsidized and unsubsidized
Existing stock is where most of the action is for your average American
We need to make sure the policy's paying attention to that.
Shelterforce, the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Building,
by the National Housing Institute and is the leading voice of community
For more information please visit Shelterforce.org
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