Affordable Housing: An Interdisciplinary Discussion

By Kurt Schenck, CNE // May 30, 2019

As a real estate professional that has practiced locally for almost 15 years, I have been molded to instinctively look for trends in housing. Interest rates, zoning changes, planning/land use initiatives, construction costs and land availability have always been good indicators of real estate markets; a seasoned professional should always have some insight into these matters if they want to be perceived as “knowledgeable”. It is one of the cornerstones for providing clients with solid buying, selling, or investing advice. Occasionally though, a topic or trend comes around that has profound significance to a marketplace and yet is so ethereal or amorphous that it has almost become the proverbial real estate equivalent of a “unicorn”. For many, the topic of affordable housing has become such a topic. This post hopes to start a conversation among readers and members of our TONO Group team which would incite respectful, honest, and informational dialogue about affordable housing.

Some of the questions we hope to discuss in a series of future posts include:

  • Why is it so hard to pin down what “affordable" means?
  • What are the barriers to addressing affordable housing issues, perceived and real?
  • What practical steps can be taken to move affordable housing options forward, and how long might it take?
  • What “drives” housing costs and why has this issue become such a topic of conversation?

Below are links to several articles that deal with this topic. It is most certainly not an exhaustive list; however it does lead the reader to understanding how complex an issue this really is. We hope this additional reading creates comments and questions that engage others to think creatively about how we can address this issue locally (or perhaps on a larger scale) and find greater understanding, if not actionable steps, for initiating change on such an important issue. Please continue to check in with us as other TONO Group professionals add their insight to the conversation.

The 5 Immutable Laws of Affordable Housing

 7 Myths About Affordable Housing Busted

 How You Can Help Fix America's Affordable Housing Crisis (And Earn Returns In The Process)

 A New Approach to Solving the US Housing Crisis

 The Cost of Affordable Housing: Does it Pencil Out?