Some municipalities, when promoting the building of affordable housing in their communities, may encounter resistance on their plans from local residents, who may have uninformed or misguided views about the impact of affordable housing on their communities. In order to assist in educating the public on the benefits of affordable housing, this Web page provides links to sites with rich information that municipalities may use to engage and counteract the concerns of local residents. These articles and studies on the effects of affordable housing on property values, schools and communities can help to convince residents of the benefits of affordable housing in their neighborhoods and can work towards counteracting the public’s protests of “Not in my backyard.”
The National Association of Realtors (NAR)
The Web site of the NAR, a trade organization for commercial and residential real estate agents, offers free information and reports on a list of topics such as the: Impacts of Low-Income Housing on Neighboring Properties and Opposition to Public Housing, and provides a list of E-Books and Other Resources and Field Guides. There are also links to other helpful Web sites.
Center for Housing Policy (Affiliate of the National Housing Conference)
The abundant free resources found on the Center for Housing Policy’s Web site covers a range of topics around identifying and meeting the challenges of affordable housing. A few examples of the titles of their publications are: Housing Affordability; Housing and Economic Development; Inclusionary Zoning; Don’t Put It Here! Does Affordable Housing Cause Property Values to Decline?; Affordable, Compact and Well-Located Housing is Critical to Achieving the Nation’s Transportation Policy Objectives; and Framing the Issues—the Positive Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education.
Housing Research and Advisory Service
The Housing Research and Advisory Service is a fee-for-service site affiliated with the Center for Housing Policy. Information is provided to assist the public, private, and non-profit sectors understand and obtain information about the need for local affordable housing and the policies to best address those needs. Inquiries are submitted via an online form. A quote of the amount of their fee is then provided.
HousingPolicy.org, a free online guide to state and local housing policy, provides examples of proven solutions for increasing the availability of homes for working families. The site includes easily accessible information, offers a broad range of state and local policy tools and provides guidance on how to form a comprehensive and effective housing strategy.
Clicking on the “Toolbox” tab reveals topics such as: Increase the Availability of Affordable Homes, Meet the Housing Needs of Older Adults, Make Homes More Resistant to Natural Disasters, and Prevent Foreclosures and Stabilize Neighborhoods. Some questions addressed under the “Getting Started” tab are: Will affordable housing decrease nearby property values? and Won’t more housing just overburden our public facilities?
Shelterforce is an online magazine that provides a forum for advocates of affordable-housing and neighborhood revitalization. It is published by the National Housing Institute (NIA), a nonprofit organization that addresses issues causing the crisis in housing in America and examines how issues such as poverty and racism, lack of employment, education and other factors affect people as they try to build safe, viable neighborhoods. There is an archive of back issues of the magazine with articles including: Fear of Affordable Housing: Perception vs. Reality and a link to research done by the NIA on topics such as Homeownership Today and Tomorrow: Building Assets While Preserving Affordability.
Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy, New York University
Geared to New York City, the Furman Center offers interdisciplinary empirical and legal research and publications on housing, land use, real estate, and urban affairs. They collect data on the New York City real estate market and make it available to the public through a data search tool.
GiveHousing a Voice, Ulster County Housing Consortium
This homepage of this Web site concisely lists the common myths associated with affordable housing and then provides the facts that address the misconseptions.
The Local Economic Impact of Typical Housing Tax Credit Developments
This PDF March 2010 report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) addresses the economic benefits of developing new multifamily affordable housing that is financed with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. To estimate the local economic benefits, the NAHB developed models to capture the effect of the construction activity, the ripple impact that occurs when income earned from construction activity is spent and recycles in the local economy and the ongoing impact from the new residents who pay taxes and buy locally produced goods and services.
Plan on It
(September 2012 newsletter, Dutchess County Planning Federation)
This newsletter provides an analysis of the various complaints that were expressed during the approval process for a 72-unit apartment complex built in 2011 in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Public concerns around Section 8 housing residents and the burden on school and fire districts are examined. The local data collected on school children proved to be consistent with national and regional data, and indicated that the number of school children generated by this affordable housing development was generally much less than the numbers the public were concerned about.
Higher-Density Development - Myth and Fact
This Urban Land Institute report examines widespread misconceptions related to higher-density development and seeks to dispel them with relevant facts and information. The advantages and drawbacks of higher-density development are compared with the alternative of low-density development. It addresses the myths and facts of higher-density development on public schools and services, and infrastructure systems.
Housing Choice Vouchers Do Not Increase Crime Rates
A recent study, “The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in US Cities and Suburbs” conducted by Professor Michael C. Lens at UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning finds that there is no correlation between the number of Housing Choice Voucher holders residing in an area and the crime rate in that area.
Lens analyzed HUD public housing data, U.S. Census socioeconomic data, and FBI crime data from 215 U.S. cities between the years of 1997 and 2008. He controlled for a wide array of variables, from national and local trends in criminal activity to demographic differences to variances in employment rates. Lens specifically focused on suburban areas and found “virtually no relationship” between the pervasiveness of voucher-holders and crime rates in his analysis of both cities and suburban areas when controls are added.
An article from The Atlantic “Moving Poor People into a Neighborhood Doesn’t Cause Crime” discusses this study’s results.