Lori Trainer, Pinnacle’s Transition Specialist, was a recent panelist at the NAA Apartmentalize Conference in San Diego, CA, speaking on “Changing the Perception of Affordable Housing.” The session covered many misconceptions surrounding affordable housing, including:
- Affordable housing is unattractive and a blight to the neighborhood.
- Affordable housing brings down the property values of neighboring residences.
- Community opposition to new affordable housing is an insurmountable obstacle.
- Affordable housing will look like “cheap housing.”
- Affordable developments lead to higher crime rates.
- Affordable housing will bring many large families to the community, thereby increasing the burden on schools and roads.
- Affordable housing does not contribute to the local tax base and overburdens the local property tax system.
- Affordable housing represents just another government welfare handout.
- Affordable housing is not fair; only the very poor benefit.
Lori shared the experiences she has had with over 100 new construction lease-up communities and how she has overcome the “Not In My Back Yard” challenges so many developers face. She also discussed how we, as an industry, need to work with elected officials to make affordable deals more attractive to developers through financing, subsidies, waived impact fees and other creative options. The panel also talked about banding together to avoid inclusionary zoning and rent control.
The session closed with Lori and the other presenters urging the attendees to keep in mind that there is a critical shortage of affordable housing across the US and we need to work together to solve the problem. Our service industry members, law enforcement, people serving in the military, teachers and senior citizens are just a few of the groups that desperately need affordable housing.