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Three dimensions of affordability

Murphy Antoine

Three dimensions of affordability

Westlawn Gardens in Milwaukee is a case study in how to address the three main affordability components: Affordable to build, to rent or own, and to live in. All three strategies are critical.

Three dimensions of housing affordability

  • Affordable to build. This involves building type, design, materials, and methods. It’s a home that is affordable to deliver. That’s the “better mousetrap” approach to affordable housing at the level of the individual home.
  • Affordable to rent or own. That involves base cost, land value, lending, and subsidy. It’s a home that is affordable to acquire. When land costs are high, it is difficult to get affordable housing unless the land is publicly or cooperatively owned. An economical building practice cannot counterbalance a hot real estate market.
  • Affordable to Live In. That involves the neighborhood, utilities, operating expenses, and taxation. That’s a home that is affordable to occupy. New Urbanism can have an impact on this dimension because it can drastically reduce transportation expenses related to the location.

Read the full article by Murphy Antoine and Robert Steuteville in CNU's Public Square.

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