How Affordable Housing Creates Strong Communities
written byNews || May 17, 2019 |
Did you know local economies suffer when affordable housing is not made a priority? Individuals and families who can’t comfortably afford housing often put education, nutrition, and their own general well-being on the backburner, which can result in economic harm for many communities.
What is affordable housing and why is it important?
Affordable housing refers to the construction of housing facilities that provide lower-income individuals and families access to adequate housing that generally costs less than 30% of a household income. These accommodations are designed and built with sustainability in mind and in adherence with industry-specific standards to meet the criteria of affordable housing. Affordable housing is a rapidly growing sector of the construction industry and is needed for a wide range of demographics including young families and senior citizens.
Due to many national, state-level, and local initiatives, affordable housing is becoming more available. The PA Housing Finance Agency alone has raised more than $14.2 billion to construct over 134,500 rental units along with funding home mortgage loans for 175,000+ families and saving 49,000+ homes from foreclosure. Thanks to these efforts, many communities and families are now on the path to improved lives and can again prioritize education, nutrition, and quality of life.
How does affordable housing create stronger communities?
Affordable housing projects helps to increase educational opportunities, introduces healthier choices into people’s lives and improves the economy. Here’s how:
Life at home affects our quality of work and motivation. Research shows “children in low income households who live in affordable housing score better on cognitive development tests than those growing up in households with unaffordable rents.” Plus, affordable housing provides opportunities for lower income parents to help their children save for college or trade school tuition, providing their children with the means to gain a profitable career in the future.
When families are on a tight budget, one of the quickest and easiest ways they cut expenses is to purchase cheaper food, often meaning less-nutritious food. However, people who are able to comfortably afford their home spend 3 times more on nutritious food. Healthy families can be more likely to enjoy the recreational offerings of their community and spend less on medical needs, preparing for an engaging life at a later age.
Affordable housing boosts economies through increased incomes in families, encourages community development, and provides a plethora of jobs. The National Association of Homebuilders reports that building 100 affordable rental homes generates $11.7 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 161 local jobs in the first year alone.
We build affordable housing as if it is our own
The goal of affordable housing is to improve a community, not detract from it. In fact, “studies show that affordable housing has a neutral or positive effect on surrounding property values” in certain cases. Affordable housing options can be just as attractive and welcoming as a custom-built home.
At Mowery, we build each project as if it’s our own. Wesley House at Quincy Village and Westminster Place at Bloomsburg for Presbyterian Senior Living are two great examples of affordable housing projects where we worked closely with the architect and focused on creating beautiful and comfortable spaces for future residents to live that had the benefits residents would desire. Mowery is honored to be part of building affordable housing spaces that improve communities at large and the lives of the people who reside there.
Want to learn more about Mowery’s approach to affordable housing? Contact us today.