“Affordable Housing” versus affordable housing

“Affordable Housing” with capital letters refers to housing restricted to individuals or families under a certain income threshold. This is governed by certain rules. There are waiting lists and a formal process for obtaining this type of housing.

The lower-case letter “affordable housing” refers to housing that is more affordable to all. It is unrestricted, and it allows people to spend less of their income on housing.

One type of Affordable Housing does not necessarily help create the other.  Cities and consultants often think of ways to create more “Affordable Housing,” but often fail to address “affordable housing” or housing affordability.

Some ways to make housing more affordable to all include:

  • Encouraging the building of more housing to increase market supply
  • Rent stabilization (which may only aid people who have not moved in a long time)
  • New and less expensive ways to construct housing – innovations in technology and construction
  • Greater access to financing or financial assistance when buying a home

RSG presents at, and helps to sponsor, conferences on affordable housing development in California. For more information on making housing affordable, as well as Affordable Housing, call us.

Written by Jane Carlson, an Associate at RSG