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Report: Affordable housing doesn't lower the value of nearby homes

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Dive Brief:

  • A recent study questions the notion that the presence of affordable housing lowers the value of a neighborhood's homes. In an analysis by real-estate listing website Trulia of more than 3,000 low-income housing projects in the 20-priciest U.S. markets from 1996 to 2006 found that residential property values near low-income housing were not significantly impacted.

  • Home values within 2,000 feet of low-income housing projects were largely the same as homes between 2,000 and 4,000 feet from such projects.

  • Denver was the only city surveyed in which low-income housing projects had a positive effect on nearby residential property values, while similar projects in Boston and Cambridge, MA, had a negative effect.

Dive Insight:

The results of Trulia's study run counter to the idea that the presence of low-income housing lowers overall home values in the area, particularly in urban neighborhoods where housing is in short supply and prices are elevated.

These fears often stop many affordable housing developments from getting off the ground and is exacerbating a growing shortage of housing inventory and elevated prices, making it difficult for younger, first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. A recent survey of U.S. Census Bureau Data by real estate listing website Zillow found that 66% of millennial homebuyers said they had thought about renting rather than buying a home compared with 54% of Gen-Xers and 32% of baby boomers.

With many cities now facing a deepening shortage of available homes, city officials are looking to introduce a series of proposals aimed at easing the crisis, including inclusionary zoning laws. 


This post originally appeared on our sister publication, Construction Dive. Our mission is to provide busy professionals like you with a bird's-eye-view of the construction industry in 60 seconds. To subscribe to our daily newsletter click here.