Why low-income housing development is good for the economy

If we talk about economic development resources and opportunities that result in accelerated rate of prosperity, we are most likely to think of factors like leading employers, high-profile academic universities, sound financial institutions and quality healthcare centers. While all these factors play a key role in ensuring employment growth and economic stability, it is important not to overlook the most-often neglected sector of low-income housing development or affordable housing; a sector that provides significant economic development and benefits to the community.
According to the latest studies conducted by various authorities, low-income housing development provides more than a physical or social benefit to people fortunate enough to live in clean, safe and affordable housing units. Building new low-income housing units, providing multifamily lending opportunities and affordable housing development plans, as well as programs which rehabilitate current housing stock to make it even more affordable, create a lot of job opportunities, from architects to designers to contractors to others involved in the construction trade.
Local business and contractors that supply building equipment, materials, and other related supplies find numerous business opportunities regarding the sale of their products and services. Local government also reaps the huge benefits of increased incomes in terms of professional license fees or net profits gained from the jobs and services being delivered. Generally, low-income housing development projects are seen on empty and underutilized parcels since they represent the most cost-effective areas to develop. This not only increases the property valuation but also eventually results in increased property taxes flowing to the local and state governments as well as local school boards. When low-income houses are rehabbed or built, the flow of funds to cities, counties, and states is considerable. Revenues may also take the form of charges for zoning, permitting and utilities or they may be in terms of income, sales or property taxes resulted from construction related activities. The renovated and new low-income housing development often enhances the value of surrounding properties and stabilizes the marginal neighborhoods.
The goods of low-income housing development are not limited to these groups only. It brings a lot of economic benefits to low-income people or families who live in it or who avail multifamily lending programs arising out of it. Low-income households that pay less for their rental cost can afford to spend the savings on other items like clothing, healthcare, groceries, recreation, etc. They can also save more for major purchases like education or a car. This provides a better economic situation to these households, making them easier to avoid living from paycheck to paycheck. They also become able to avoid the stress of moving from one place to another as they fall short of their housing or rental payment. Families living in affordable housing units have been observed as more stable since many of them are long-term employees as they don’t need to move on a frequent basis and face problems coming to work from far off areas.
Many employers reported that lack of low-income housing facilities makes it harder and more expensive to employ and retain employees. In one of the national surveys conducted, which took into an account over 300 companies, 55 percent of the employers reported that lack of affordable housing projects in their proximity negatively affected their efforts to hold onto their qualified and talented employees. Businesses are benefited from low-income houses since it helps them having stable employee base and reduces employee absenteeism, turnover and related costs like induction, training, and development. It also helps to avoid problems related to lack of dependability as to whether an enough number of employees will come to work their shifts.
Due to a number of short term and long term benefits affordable housing development brings for all the stakeholders, we can expect a huge positive shift in this sector concerning investment and business opportunities, all across the United States.



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