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5 More Affordable Housing Myths

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Community residents often become concerned when they learn about affordable housing development in their neighborhoods. Although it receives a bad reputation, affordable housing can actually help families and communities thrive. In a previous blog entry, Hunt Mortgage Group cracked the truth about several common affordable housing myths. Here are 5 additional common myths about affordable housing.

Myth #1: “Affordable housing will lead to an influx of crime in my community.”

There is no evidence that suggests affordable housing attracts crime to a community. In reality, affordable housing is in fact a deterrent to crime.  This untrue assumption may actually a result from racist attitudes against minorities because the media paints people of color as the primary recipients of affordable housing. Many people in need of affordable housing permeate through all races and occupations. For example, some applicants include senior citizens living on a fixed income, and working families with entry-level or low-wage jobs.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, construction of affordable housing units helps reduce crime, Meanwhile, the National Crime Prevention Council reports also that failure to build or maintain affordable housing leads to awful conditions, negligent landlords, and other socioeconomic issues of working families. In fact, lack of jobs and community services, are indicators for crime.

Myth #2: “Property in my community is too expensive for affordable housing.”

Expensive land doesn’t automatically exclude affordable housing development. Less expensive land is often in poor shape and requires more site preparation, increases the overall development costs, and ongoing maintenance fees. Therefore, expensive land in communities may actually be more cost effective for the development of affordable housing.

Myth #3:  “Affordable housing is public housing.”

Housing is affordable at 30% of income. Affordable housing actually benefits everyone, regardless of income. However, affordable housing is very important for working families in the community.  For housing to be “affordable,” the cost of the unit should coincide with the average wages from the local economy. Ideally, a household should pay no more than approximately 30% of their annual gross income on housing costs, including utilities.

Myth #4: “Affordable housing is a government handout.”

Many believe that affordable housing offers little return on investment. But, affordable housing is an essential factor in economic development and sustainability. Studies show that employers experience lower turnover rates in communities with affordable housing options. Available affordable housing also reduces the likelihood that low-income workers will become homeless and apply for public benefits. Furthermore, affordable housing helps create and nurture a stable lifestyle that provides more opportunities for people to pursue higher education and career advancement. Meanwhile, a lack of affordable housing can force low-income workers to leave the community in search of higher wages and more affordable housing.

Myth #5: “Affordable housing developments are a waste of taxpayer money.”

Many foolishly believe that affordable housing doesn’t contribute to the local tax base and overburdens the local property tax system. The reason units at a redeveloped or newly constructed “affordable housing” building can be offered at below-market rents or purchase prices is that the up-front acquisition and development costs of financing would be reduced by federal tax credits and grants. In other words, the municipality would not subsidize the day-to-day operating costs and the rental income. Additionally, the effective tax rate for multi-family complexes is significantly higher than single-family homes nationwide. Furthermore multi-family housing actually provides fewer burdens on the local tax system in terms of new services generated than single-family homes.

Conclusions

Hunt Mortgage Group is an industry leader in financing affordable multi-family housing. Hunt Mortgage group is also licensed Fannie Mae DUS™ lender, a Freddie Mac Program Plus™ seller/servicer, and a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Multi-family Accelerated Processing (MAP) approved lender. For more information about affordable housing, contact the experts at Hunt Mortgage Group today.

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