“This is an article of affordable housing done right.”

NYT

“Dear PoPville,

This is an article of affordable housing done right. I wish DC could get in contact with someone like this (or vice versa) to buy out some of their mismanaged public housing. When low-income people live in communities where they feel vested, and the community is properly managed so illegal or bad behavior is punished, then it is a win-win situation for the residents and the community as a whole.”

Both projects keep management teams on site, overseeing the properties, day in, day out. Neither project splurged on design, but in both cases, architecture mattered, to save energy, improve the neighborhood, spread dignity, add joy. They’re clear proof of concept for skeptical tenants — accustomed to betrayal, reluctant to give up parking lots or anything else — that change can be good.

Full story here.

9 Comment

  • Good to see some investment in a singular housing project. Big picture, the Rockaways are everything that is wrong with public housing. Massive housing projects abutting/overwhelming a neighborhood of single family homes. Personally, I like the goal of an 80/20 ratio spread evenly throughout an area.

  • Aesthetics issues aside one of the biggest problems with affordable housing here is the lack of annual recertification for all units. Far too many units are housing people making well above the limit.

    • That’s definitely an issue, but it’s far from “one of the biggest problems”. I take it that you don’t have any personal experience in this field?

      • The beauty of an opinion is that multiple opinions can be formed on the same topic. Thanks for sharing yours with me.

    • Yes, we definitely want to give people an incentive to NOT make more money…

    • This is really an outlier issue. Subsidized housing is not the nicest, most people with the means to get out do. I really thought this welfare queens logic had dissipated.

      • LOL Welfare queens is not exactly what I had in mind, and I was discussing ADU units and buildings which unlike “public housing” you may have in mind can be fairly nice or at the least in a prime location at cut rate prices.

        The person I have in mind would be your nonprofit worker who has moved up and on to bigger and better things and is now making above the income limit for the unit. They are not getting public assistance for rent but are living in a building paying below market rent based on their initial income.

        • I would be shocked to find that people who are now genuinely making more than the income limit in a sustainable sort of a way represent a large percentage of people occupying them.
          .
          One of the challenges to any sort of annual income certification is that many people’s incomes, especially when talking about people living closer to the poverty line, who are less likely to have stable employment, can vary wildly. You wouldn’t want to force someone to move out of their home just because one year they somehow managed to make $10k more than they had made in the past or were likely to make again.

          • I believe they solve this in NYC by charging people rents based on a percentage of their W-2. If you earn more, you pay more, but you don’t lose your home.

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