Making Housing Affordability Work for You
There are several different kinds of housing that can broadly be categorized into two: residential housing and commercial housing. Residential housing, or in other words, living areas, refers to the arrangement and designated use of homes or private buildings for the purpose of dwellinging people exclusively, the direct intention of which is to supply them with shelter from the weather or other natural causes. This kind of housing is usually located within the boundaries of a town or city and is designed exclusively for the exclusive use of the inhabitants. As such, it is built in an organized and planned fashion and is home to a specific, usually rich and powerful class of people.
The housing practices of many people nowadays are dictated not by law, but by the arbitrary decisions of zoning board and local governments. In these cases, the people who have very little choice are forced to live in housing that is very expensive, crowded, and made of inferior quality materials. Unfortunately, many people are forced to live this way because they are unable to afford housing that conforms to their social and economic standards. Even if they could afford housing, they would not be able to live in it if the local governing authority insists on maintaining a set of rules that are beyond their ability to adhere to. These people are forced to go around and find affordable housing outside the jurisdiction of their towns or cities.
Affordable housing refers to housing that meets the requirements of its users in terms of size, quality, and affordability. An affordable housing problem is a problem when the cost of housing exceeds the income of the people who live in it, especially when the housing is in a metropolitan area. Metro areas are characterized by high levels of population concentration, rapid growth, and intense competition among home buyers and sellers for homes. As a result, the rate of housing inflation, which is the increase in the price of housing when you compare it to the rate of inflation of similar properties that were purchased some time ago, is extraordinarily high in metropolitan areas.
In order to reduce the effects of inflation on housing affordability, the most practical way to go about doing so is to use “affordable housing” strategies. The most common of these strategies is rent control. This is where a governing body, generally the local rental housing authority, sets the limits for rent increases. The tenants do not have to pay an initial rent; they only pay when they bring in a full gross rent amount, as determined by the authority. Rent control is also effective when the building is old, has too many unsold units, or is in a neighborhood that is rapidly growing.
In order to ensure that there is a constant supply of affordable housing, another approach to housing affordability is to institute a “market rent” policy that dictates how much money the landlord must pay the tenant each month in order for them to remain living in a property. Generally, market rent policies are implemented in conjunction with the inclusion of affordable housing in the landlord-tenant relationship, and the flexibility and stability that is provided by inclusionary zoning. By instituting a market rent that is lower than the cost of housing in the area, the inclusionary zoning helps to keep the cost of housing low. Since a market rent is set at a predetermined amount, it is important to set this amount based on the cost of housing in the area, which can be determined using the “benchmark rate” of some geographic area.
Public housing is a critical part of our nation’s social welfare system. Because public housing provides a valuable service to many Americans, it is necessary to carefully monitor its performance. As more people choose to live in multi-unit dwellings that are supported by well-established rental and public housing programs, we will continue to see improvements in housing choice and home ownership across the country.