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The Facts on Affordable Housing

What exactly is affordable housing and what can it mean for our community? The term affordable housing is largely misunderstood. Misconceptions of what it can mean for a community are widespread and based on fear and not fact. The truth is that affordable housing in communities is a good thing for business.

The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines an "affordable dwelling" as one that a household can obtain for 30 percent or less of its income. This makes the key qualifier in determining eligibility income. Most housing programs use a general qualification of a household making less than 50% of the area median average. Some also take into consideration individual circumstances to determine how those circumstances affect a person’s ability to remain stable.

Now just why is affordable housing good for the community? First and foremost, increased spending. When lower income families are paying less on their monthly rent, this frees up more money to spend on their essential items, even better they can go beyond the bare necessities and can spend more money in local businesses in their neighborhoods. Affordable housing is a good thing for the local economy!

Not only is it good for the economy spending wise, but affordable housing can create more job opportunities. Of course, the act of building affordable housing will create temporary jobs in the construction process, but also long-term employment through maintenance, leasing, and operations. Not only will it create immediate jobs, but it will encourage job growth in the community. People living and working in their community means more local spending at restaurants, shops, gas stations.

Which brings us to more money spent locally, means more revenue for the local governments. The increased revenue in tax dollars can mean improved infrastructure. As reported by Forbes Magazine, building 100 affordable rentals generates $2.2 million in sales and other taxes and city fees. Think of what the community could gain, what we could do with the extra funds that now will stay local, instead of people moving out of the area in search of affordable housing.

Bottom line, why wouldn’t we want to redevelop older properties into affordable housing? It benefits all parts of the community from the people it serves, to local businesses, to the preservation of older communities. Why not take something unused and ugly and make it beautiful and beneficial to the community we love. And that is exactly what we intent to do with the Zeropak. Stay tuned….

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