Why Affordable Housing from the Cedar Rapids Gazette

As the Polk County Housing Tomorrow Plan identified that Greater Des Moines was in need of 10,000 units, this op-ed from the Cedar Rapids Gazette is a great reminder that quality, affordable housing helps strengthen our neighborhoods and our communities.


An excerpt:

Busting myths about affordable housing and the people who live there


Simply put, a lot of what people think they know about affordable housing is wrong. Here, we address a few common myths:


MYTH: AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL DRIVE DOWN MY PROPERTY VALUES

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, there is little evidence that sales prices of single-family homes suffer from a proximity to low-income housing. Most studies of this question show no long-term negative impact to property values. Some studies even show an increase in value, according to the group.


MYTH: IT WILL LOWER TEST SCORES AND EDUCATIONAL QUALITY IN MY CHILD’S SCHOOL

In fact, a lack of affordable housing may already be bringing down test scores and using precious instructional resources in your children’s school. Housing instability has a dramatic impact on students’ learning and attendance. Frequent moves add stress and make it more difficult for students to keep up with schoolwork. Changing schools because of a change of address leads to gaps in learning that significantly impact that child’s — and your children’s — school experience. Safe, affordable and stable housing is a critical key to family stability that enables students to take root and thrive.


MYTH: IT WILL INCREASE CRIME IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD.

This one is a two-parter. First, it confuses affordable housing with subsidized housing. Affordable housing is just that — modestly priced housing that someone working a low-wage job will be able to afford. That’s why it sometimes is called “workforce housing,” because that’s what most residents are: workers. They’re in jobs or professions that don’t pay high wages. They may be service workers, or young professionals just starting out.







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