Access to affordable housing is essential for a community and its residents. Improving the quality of life for residents leads to better health, adequate jobs, financial stability, security, and diversity. Many families and individuals cannot meet the high costs of renting an apartment or buying a home. Therefore, affordable housing can change this and brings many benefits.
Increased Spending Power: Families that use most of their income towards housing often have insufficient funds remaining to meet other essential needs, such as healthy food, medical insurance, and health care. When faced with these tradeoffs this can threaten the family and their children. However, these factors are much different while living in affordable housing. As a result of lower monthly rent payments or mortgage costs, families can use their income on quality foods and medical care which puts less stress on families.
Job Creation: Developing, constructing, and preserving affordable housing will lead to the creation of new jobs. During the construction of affordable housing units, the local economy benefits directly from the funds spent on materials, labor, etc. Construction jobs and contractor roles can put unemployed people to work who are skilled in those areas.
Effects on Children: Growing up and living in a stable and quality home has many effects on children. The effects on children who are brought up in a stable affordable home are greatly impacted by this. Children who are raised in a quality living space (such as affordable housing) are more likely to thrive in school, move on to higher education, and earn more money as adults. However, those who are not living in a quality environment face other challenges. According to a Boston College study, living in poor housing conditions along with residential instability is likely to result in behavioral issues in children who live in this type of environment. These conditions can cause stress, depression, and other negative effects.
Promotes Diversity: Affordable housing developments promote diversity by developing communities that unite different socio-economic, educational, professional, and cultural backgrounds. This will result in increased exposure and interaction of people from various backgrounds, increase cultural sensitivity, fairness, and tolerance. In addition, this can also create an opportunity to become more knowledgeable of other backgrounds and can work together to create change in the community using various perspectives.
Other important factors:
- Affordable housing is the key to reducing intergenerational poverty and increase in economic mobility.
- Increased access to affordable housing is the most cost-effective strategy to implement to reduce childhood poverty in the United States.
- Improves mental and physical health