The main challenge facing the country’s real estate industry is building affordable and sustainable middle-income housing says Maxwell Drever. Many people have a hard time conceptualizing why that’s the case. There are countless reasons, but some of them include zoning codes, land acquisition constraints, inability to develop economically diverse neighborhoods that can prevent high rents and people from moving out – all things that can be highly shaky at times. But all these form only one small portion of the issue. It is essential to bring an overall change in the systems and processes to expedite the delivery of workforce housing for the median income population. Here are some suggestions in this context.
Reducing development risks
Shifting focus on existing buildings with information on their type, dimensions, and foundation can prove immensely useful, says Maxwell Drever. There can be numerous existing structures across various states, such as closed hotels, motels, and restaurants. Developers, investors, and local governments can identify them to support the housing development for the workforce. Local governments can help quantify these structures’ current state so that developers feel confident when trying to buy them. They will know they are not buying a lemon.
Doing market research on area-specific affordable housing demand
Since returns will be lower than the usual scenario, many developers and investors may not show enough interest in these projects. They usually prefer faster and lucrative impact. But if they know about the demand and how their units can fill faster, offering decent and continuous yields than those expensive market-rate properties, their attention can be easy to win. With this, if government programs also add their support by working around their public policies, they can be more willing to invest their time and money in this.
Doing away with the exclusionary zoning approach
Affordable and higher-density housing often doesn’t find a place in many zoning codes. They don’t pay heed to affordable or higher-density options. This type of exclusionist behavior contributes to a zoning bias that favors single-family homes. And other low-density housing options, as rightly pointed out by Maxwell Drever. But relaxing zoning codes to accommodate livable multi-family units for the workforce can significantly relieve this area. Or, more precisely, introducing inclusionary zoning rules that allow setting up some units aside for middle-income groups in a mix of multi-family environments can come in handy.
Opting for rehabilitation projects
Most major cities tend to have many abandoned housing developments, housing projects, and public housing. Redeveloping them into affordable workforce real estate would provide people with somewhere affordable to live within the local community. Such a development program should receive the support of key government departments. To help bring together developers and investors to fund this type of residential investment. These parties would not have to worry abouttheir profit because such properties may not take much time to ship. And reduced construction costs can lead to better margins also.
Since solving any housing crisis demands an overall analysis of the different factors. One must peer into them to understand the best-case scenario.