Re: Affordable Housing vs Low Income Households
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 15:03:32 -0800 (PST)
> On Dec 30, 2019, at 3:04 PM, Kathryn McCamant <kmccamant [at] 
>> wrote:
> That said, it is important to understand that even that option will likely 
> bring in a lower return as an investment than just buying an existing home 
> down the road as a rental

One advantage of purchasing a unit is that the unit will probably be more 
affordable than a house because it is likely to be  smaller. Our 615 1 BR with 
a den is very desirable because it is well designed. The floor plan is much 
better than the 825 2 BR. The price of homes is related to the current expected 

> US-wide, homes built in the last 6 years are 74% larger than those built in 
> the 1910s, an increase of a little over 1,000 square feet. The average new 
> home in America, be it condo or house, now spreads over 2,430 square feet. It 
> is also important to note that, parallel to the rise in living space, 
> households have been getting smaller over the same period. In 2015, the 
> average number of people in a household is 2.58, compared to 4.54 in 1910. 
> This means that today the average individual living in a newly built home in 
> the US enjoys 211% more living space than their grandparents did, 957 square 
> feet in total.

I grew up in 400-500 SF houses with 2 adults and 4 children in the 1959s. The 
first thing my mother said every morning was, “Outside. All of you.” 

I wonder if there is a guide to how much it costs to live in a 500 SF house vs 
a 1000 SF house, or condo units the same size? Of course there is still the 
problem of banks not willing to mortgage a small unit because it won’t be good 
for resales. Not true but bankers are conservative.

> If you are seeking government subsidies, I would recommend that you find a 
> local affordable housing developer that understands current programs and 
> where the money might be found. Then design your project around the 
> requirements for those sources of funds. Trying to find your way thru the 
> government subsidy maze the first time would defeat most people. 

One of the horrible provisions of many of these programs is that people can’t 
be approved to purchase one of these subsidized units until they are built. 
People are in the position of helping develop the community with no idea 
whether they will be approved to live there. Or at the end, the community has 
to accept the applicants on the program’s waiting list whether they want to 
live in cohousing or not.

We were lucky in having the developer work with a bank to reserve subsidy funds 
and process papers so they were still there by the time the project was 
finished. DC was anxious to encourage home ownership as the city population was 

I did a quick Google search on “housing consultants” and found these as well as 
many others.

> US Housing Consultants
> Our pre-REAC, HUD, LIHTC Compliance services will help you with your 
> affordable housing regulations. Call us: 877-228-0003.
> ‎
> Development Consultants for Acquisition or Renovations | The ...
> › development-consultants-for-acquisition-or-renov...
> Development Consultants work as partners with the tenant association to ... 
> in affordable housing and urban infill real estate development and consulting 
> in the  …

Not a recommendation certainly but they are out there.

Sharon Villines
Sociocratic Democracy: Guaranteeing Freedom and Equality

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