In the heat of ongoing debates over the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) recommendations, single family zoning, and rent control, it sometimes seems like there is little consensus on clear next steps for affordable housing policy. Yet one progressive solution has been gaining steam while largely flying under the radar: enhanced public financing of affordable housing.
Housing Now Seattle has been meeting for months with councilmember, candidates, advisers, and experts. There is a clear and growing consensus supporting public financing for affordable housing, yet the trend has slipped under the radar. It’s time that public finance receives the attention it deserves. We need to elevate attention to this idea so we can turn this growing consensus into more affordable housing. Read more over at The Urbanist.
One of the reasons why so many cities struggle with achieving affordability a poor understanding of what constitutes affordability. This is why Housing Now has spent so much time on the The Family Housing Cost Model (FHCM). This cost model is an important starting point for the policy discussion in Seattle and beyond. We've been hard at work on this and hope to release a public "beta" of the model by the end of June.
The cost model itself is derived from an approach pioneered in this article by Stone, Burke, and Ralson from 2011. The "Residual Income Approach" they describe has three great advantages:Read more
One of the less commented upon problems with calculating housing affordability on the basis of income is that many subsidies for low income people that exist or can be anticipated to exist in the near future don't make it into their "gross income" and instead they land on the balance sheets of various government programs designed explicitly to help people.Read more
This blog will include news and updates regarding the campaign as well as interesting articles on housing and related topics we come across. Check back here for further updates!