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affordable housing

Dedicated from the beginning to everyone working to empower and support low-income communities, Shelterforce provides a venue for conversations that need to be had—on topics such as housing affordability, homeownership, and lots more.

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Legitimate Debate or Short-Sighted Complaints? 5 Reasons Affordable Housing Is Expensive to Build

There’s no denying that affordable housing can be expensive to build. But we need to look at the long-term benefits of those investments to see the bigger picture.

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A sign on a brick wall advising drivers of a steep hill. The sign is all-caps black lettering on a white background.
Housing

How ‘Tenant Stewards’ Are Using TOPA to Form a Co-op

Organized by a pandemic-era mutual aid group, this housing cooperative is taking advantage of D.C.’s pioneering Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. But the pressure of paying back a loan with mounting interest could stymie the group’s plans to provide affordable housing.

Close-up of document titled "Rent Increase Notice." Text is partly hidden by a blue and silver ballpoint pen. Visible text says "...inform you that beginning on ____ .... increase by $_____. No other ..... to original rental agreement.... monthly payment is due on the first...."

How Tenant Activists Won Protections Against Mid-Lease Rent Hikes in Affordable Housing

Last year, we reported on tenants in Northern Virginia LIHTC properties whose rents were raised in the middle of their leases. Here’s how other states have banned the practice.

A graphic showing buildings, some shaded in red, to illustrate Shelterforce's new Under the Lens series, LIHTC: The Good, the Bad, and the Very Complicated
Community Development Field

LIHTC: How It Started, How It’s Going

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was created in a moment when other real estate tax preferences were going away—but at the time, no one expected it to grow into the main source of affordable housing finance in the country.

A view of a city from a grassy hillside. Just beyond the hill is a large settlement of one- and two-story houses, mostly visible by their roofs. Beyond them rises a steep, evergreen-dotted, and rocky mountain. The sky far beyond is white, except for a bit of blue at the right. No people are visible in this photo.
Housing

Western States Look to These Lands for New Affordable Housing

In several western states, state-owned trust lands were created to support schools and other community benefits.

A Black woman, wearing a white scarf and black robe and holding a microphone, speaks inside a room. Sitting are four people listening, and others are standing in the back.
Equity

Preparing Underinvested Communities for New Funding

Underinvested communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and deploying funding. The Center for Community Investment is helping to change that.

A gray brick building has a red sign that reads "American Hotel" in the front. Two women, both wearing white t-shirts and jeans, appear to be taking photos, but are in motion. On their right, a man with a cap, white t-shirt, and jeans walks by. Three other people are passing by in the background of the photo.
Housing

Checked Out: How LA Failed to Stop Landlords From Turning Low-Cost Housing Into Tourist Hotels

Fifteen years ago Los Angeles passed a law to preserve residential hotels as housing of last resort. Now, amid the homelessness crisis, Capital & Main and ProPublica found some hotels may be violating that law by offering rooms to tourists.

View from above of a ferryboat on roiling waters, with clouds of mist off to the right. The water is blue-green with much white foam from the choppy sea
Housing

Nonprofit Affordable Housing Developers Navigate Troubled Waters

As housing and building costs rise, nonprofit developers find themselves with strained resources as pandemic relief dries up and tenants need housing assistance more than ever.

A three-story red/brown brick building with white window frames. In the foreground, a thick green hedge. Behind the building, a clear blue sky. There are no people in the photo.
Housing

What Can We Learn From the U.K.’s Council Housing? (Hint: Vienna Isn’t the Only Example of Transformative Social Housing.)

Social historian John Boughton explains how the U.K.’s social housing system changed millions of low- and middle-income people’s lives—and how privatization has crippled its power.

Health

Why an Eldercare Facility Turned to Employer-Provided Housing

Providing temporary housing in tiny homes has helped a long-term care facility keep its doors open in the face of a growing housing crisis. 

A nighttime view of Los Angeles from a distance, with glittering lights and above them a sky that's not altogether dark.
Homelessness

How Los Angeles Won the Largest Municipal Housing Program in the Country

The ambitious funding campaign took strong cross-movement organizing and the right political moment.

An aerial view of Madison, Wisconsin, with a lake in the foreground, the capital dome visible beyond it, and the city stretching beyond that.
Housing

Who Can Afford Housing in Madison, Wisconsin?

The city is growing fast and building a lot of housing. But the new housing isn’t keeping pace with the need, especially for high-income and extremely low-income earners.

The Virginia State Capital seen frmo the bottom of the steps leading up to it, on a sunny day.
Housing

Should Virginia Build Housing for Public Servants on Public Land?

Amid widespread rent increases, directing public land to affordable housing could allow people to stay in their communities, as well as reduce commutes and employee turnover.