The Urban Institute and the National Housing Conference partnered to create a new interactive online tool, The cost of affordable housing: Does it pencil out?, that allows users to explore the costs of developing affordable rental housing. Users can manipulate different options in a hypothetical development serving low income households. The options include tenant income levels and rent burden, replacement reserves, debt size, constructions costs, and operating expenses, to name a few. The tool illustrates the significant gap between the rents that low income households can afford and the costs of building and maintaining rental housing. The tool demonstrates the necessity of public subsidies for building, preserving, and operating affordable rental housing for the lowest income households.
The cost of affordable housing: Does it pencil out? is available at http://urbn.is/2af0aQZ
Washington Post reporter Emily Badger highlighted the tool’s finding in a wonkblog excerpt entitled, ‘The basic reason why there just isn’t enough decent housing for the poor.’ In a Letter to the Editor, Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC responded with, “How to provide housing for the neediest.’