May 17, 2018
Mention “affordable housing,” and what might come to mind are blocky multifamily complexes set near or around urban centers. According to Paul Weissman with Hunt Mortgage Group, that visual would have been true, once upon a time.
However, due to urban gentrification, much of the once-affordable inner-city housing is affordable no longer. This has led Weissman, who is Hunt Mortgage Group’s Senior Managing Director of Affordable Housing Finance, to suggest that developers consider building workforce housing in the suburbs.
He points out several benefits to building less-expensive apartments and townhomes in suburban locations, including
- Less-expensive land (and more of it)
- Growing job pool, as businesses migrate to the suburbs
- Accessibility to Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac affordable housing financing
Weissman does note that “exclusionary zoning,” better known as “NIMBY-ism” can be a challenge to affordable housing developers. Still, he says that legislation in some metro areas (Boston, Los Angeles and Denver) is starting to address unfair zoning practices.
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