Housing is affordable when households, renting or purchasing, are able to pay their housing costs and still have sufficient income to meet other basic needs such as food, clothing, medical care, education, and transportation. One benchmark is that housing is affordable if it costs no more than 30% of a household’s gross income.
Affordable Housing FAQs
There are a number of factors that influence the demand for affordable housing, including:
- Strong economic growth and/or increased housing demand has pushed housing prices upward
- Workforce wage increases have not kept pace with rising housing prices
- Wages in service industries, entry level employment, and other essential industries are low
Residents of affordable housing mirror the mix of ages and life stages of their communities:
- Single working adults
- Young couples starting a family while relying on a single income
- Retail employees, food service employees, medical support staff, auto dealer support staff, entry level school teachers, entry level civil servants, bank tellers, and many others
- Seniors retiring on a limited income
SWMHP develops affordable housing through a variety of financing mechanisms, but primary Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Private investors and/or owners invest cash in a tax credit project and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit to reduce their federal tax liability each year for ten years. In exchange, the property must serve households earning an income no greater than 60% of the Area Median Income.
Affordable housing is beneficial to a community in many ways, including:
- Stronger labor force
- A good supply of housing for all income groups helps a community retain jobs and retail stores, and helps business owners attract and retain good workers.
- Employees are able to live near employment centers, so are more able to report to work on time and have time to improve their job skills or get an education.
- Economic benefits
- New construction and management of a property creates new employment and generates multiple ripple effects that strengthen the local economy.
- Stronger families
- Affordable housing creates a more stable environment for children; children do better in school. Families are able to save for a home purchase down payment.
Affordable housing developed and owned by the Wyoming Housing Network is well designed and built to last 50 or more years with high quality, durable, energy efficient materials.
Research on actual changes in values of properties adjacent new affordable housing consistently finds that well-planned, well managed affordable housing does not have a negative impact on the value of surrounding properties. Some studies indicate that it can have a positive impact.
To encourage investors and generate the resources to build high quality housing, a community can take several actions to help the SWMHP help you.
- City/Town Council agrees to advocate for the development
- A local match is provided (cash equivalent or land)
- Zoning changes, if any, are approved
- Community will share the benefits of the development and encourage lease-up when construction is complete