Affordable housing

From ArticleWorld

Affordable housing may be defined as inexpensive dwellings which house holders who have modest incomes can afford. These may include a range of both subsidized and non-subsidized housing designed for those whose incomes generally deny them the opportunity to purchase or rent housing on the open market. In the US the definition covers housing where rent holders spend 30% or less of their total monthly household incomes for rent and homeowners spend 28% or less of their total monthly household incomes for mortgage principal plus interest, property taxes and insurance.

Why required

Several issues have combined to create a housing crunch all over the developed countries. Primary reason is that incomes have not been able to keep pace with housing costs. Most sales and service jobs are relatively low paying while new industries fast developing areas create a premium demand for any housing. Land values remain high and housing production is not able to meet demand. All of these factors contribute towards the shortage of affordable housing.


Affordable housing serves families, seniors, and people with disabilities and also provides a stepping stone for young families. It allows vulnerable members of the community and people with special needs with a cost-effective living situation. The housing can be ownership or rental, a single duplex or the size of many market-rate apartment complexes. Affordable housing developments need to meet local building standards and design requirements. Many affordable housing developments have won design awards, while people living next to such developments have been unaware of the fact.

Pertinently, Affordable housing:

  1. provides housing for local low wage earners;
  2. directs economic benefits to the local community;
  3. promotes economic and social integration; and,
  4. provides stable living situations for homeless people.