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Affordable Housing Helps Communities Grow

Frank Hammond March 26, 2023

A house or living space is more than just a piece of property. It’s a home that provides shelter, a nurturing place to raise a family and likely is a family’s most significant financial investment. Unfortunately, the housing market in Oregon (and many other states) makes ownership a dream out of reach for many.

Fortunately, the Oregon Housing Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) and other programs provide assistance that helps prevent or lessen the impact of foreclosures on moderate and low-income families. It also helps stabilize the market here.

Cultural and Social Benefits

Many people are protective of their communities. Homeowners also tend to worry about property values and how any change in the community affects their home values. Some may even adopt a “not in my town” mentality. But the benefits of affordable housing lift the folks it serves and the entire community. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Great for kids: A Boston College/MacArthur Foundation study found that poor-quality housing and instability are strong predictors of children’s emotional and behavioral issues. Adequate room can provide space for children to do schoolwork, enabling them to work towards a better future than their parents.

  2. Sustainable communities are key: Owners like high property values, but making it unaffordable harms the community’s general health. Affordable housing developments positively impact the surrounding community, encouraging social connection, attracting businesses, restaurants and jobs, lowering crime rates, bringing in more tax revenue, and other benefits.

  3. Promotes diversity: Diverse communities foster cultural sensitivity and allay fears created by ethnic stereotypes. It provides first-hand interaction socially, politically, and professionally. It also sets an example for younger generations.

Building a Better Community

Developers, government, property owners and residents all play a part in making affordable housing. Those with questions about the legal issues, including regulations and zoning, can consult with a land-use attorney in Oregon. They can provide insights on how to get projects off the ground and alleviate the fears of neighbors in the community or local government about the supposed negative impact caused by these sustaining developments.

With more than three decades of experience, we have a deep understanding of how regulations can intersect with land use issues and development projects. For a consultation with our Portland office, call or email us directly.