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Tool 2: Affordable Housing

Tool 2: Affordable Housing

Affordable housing plays an important role in American society by providing millions of people who cannot afford housing on the private market with a sound, decent home at rents or sales prices they can afford. At the same time, affordable housing in distressed urban areas can raise complicated issues, particularly where much of the housing in the private market may have low values or may rent at levels comparable to or lower than the rents in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) developments. Affordable housing should be developed when it truly addresses an unmet need and does so in a way that benefits the neighborhood; it should not be developed simply for the sake of building, or putting a vacant lot to use.


There  are a series of questions that should be asked when considering developing an affordable housing project:

  • Will  it meet a need?
  • Is it a cost-effective way of meeting the need?
  • How will it affect the neighborhood’s existing housing stock?
  • How will it affect efforts to build a stronger market in the neighborhood?


Go to a discussion of these questions

Go to Tool 3: Matching Use and User