What is Affordable Housing Apartments?
Affordable housing apartments may mean different things to people based on their income. In the United States, affordable housing apartments is anchored on the idea that a hosehold spends at most 30% of its gross income on housing-related expenditures.
In an age where inflation is resulting in steady increases in rental prices nationally, the demand for affordable housing apartments is on the rise. People are searching for cheaper rentals to live in and at least save a penny to work on other financial commitments.
You may be such a person looking for an affordable housing apartment. At your current level of disposable income, you could be feeling it will be harder to keep up with your financial growth goals if you continue servicing an increasing rental bill.
In search of affordable housing apartments, price is not just your scorecard of consideration. You are also considering other factors like the location of such an apartment, level of quality maintenance, and proximity to your workplace, among others.
Importance of Affordable Housing Apartments
1. Improved quality of life
Affordable housing has a universal effect on everyone who can access it; it increases the disposable income one has. With a higher disposable income, you can spend it on other things that would improve the quality of your life.
You may use the additional disposable income to buy high-quality food. Eating high-quality food would assure you good health and a potentially long life. You can also use additional disposable income and enroll in a particular skillful course. After acquiring these skills, you may commercialize them to earn more from them or use them for non-commercial personal benefits.
The quality of your life may also improve from the dimensions of buying medical insurance. This may increase the quality of your healthcare.
2. Stimulation of economic activities
There are many ways the economy benefits from affordable housing apartments. One of the most obvious ways is the increase in economic activity. If you have access to affordable housing, you spend the additional disposable income in the economy in many ways. You may decide to buy an asset, invest in a business, or buy a want.
Regardless of where you spend the additional disposable income, you simply put money into someone else’s pocket. Putting money in their pocket implies strengthening their economic status in return.
If you use your additional income to start a business, you create employment for other people. By creating employment, you are directly helping alleviate unemployment, thus contributing to economic growth.
3. Improved health
Health can suffer if a substantial portion of your income goes to your rental bill. People residing in affordable housing apartments are better positioned to enjoy better health in many ways.
One of the reasons why health improves with access to affordable apartment units is reduced stress levels. When you live in a cheap rental unit, housing-related stress reduces. You are not worried by the possibility of foreclosure or eviction in the face of the dwindling purchasing power of your salary. With little or no housing-related stress, you can enjoy sound mental health.
Studies have also shown children from families who live in affordable housing apartments enjoy quality health. This is due to the ability of their parents to buy quality food and afford quality healthcare from disposable income for their children.
Challenges Facing Affordable Apartments
1. Shortfall of supply
Without a doubt, there is a shortage of supply of affordable housing apartments. Demand for these housing units exceeds supply by far. As of 2023, there is a 7.2 million gap between demand and supply of cheap houses in the U.S. alone. These 7.2 million residents are actively looking for affordable homes but cannot find any due to the limited supply.
This gap worsens the economic activity of many who cannot secure an affordable apartment. Studies have shown that at least 10.7 million renters spend 50% of their annual income on rent. This becomes such a financial burden for anyone who makes this statistic.
2. Land use regulation
In the United States, you cannot use land as you please. There are laws to abide by on how to use land, which has become one of the core limitations of accessibility of affordable housing apartments.
Land zoning reduces the supply of land that would otherwise be used to construct affordable houses. For instance, single-family zoning restricts any private developer who would have utilized a limited land size to put up an apartment block that would accommodate multiple families.
Such laws continue to push rental prices to increase for the already established units. The Height and Setback Regulations and Minimum Lot Size Requirements are other land use regulations that make access to affordable housing apartments challenging. Some of these laws need amendments to increase the supply of land used to erect affordable housing apartments.
3. Labor shortage
Labor shortage has played a significant role in the current gap in accessing affordable apartments. With labor shortages, developers take too long to establish cheap apartments. Those focused enough to have the best workers end up paying more for labor, making their projects expensive. The high labor cost limits the least amount they can charge for their affordable units. Ultimately, it makes apartments quite expensive even when landlords claim to be affordable.