More affordable housing plans
We have so many sayings that relate to our homes just because a home is so fundamental to family and social wellbeing. This is a practical site with pages devoted to finding housing and others that look at the more general situation and what to do about it. A basic measure of the economic situation of any country is the availability of affordable housing. The need for food and shelter is so basic that if that is not met no country can rest easy. This site aims to cover all aspects of housing and its affordability especially at the grass roots level.
So what does affordable housing mean?
Do you pay more than half your annual salary on housing? A relatively wealthy family may answer yes to this but the most important group is those that earn below the average salary or even just a legal minimum and yet have to pay out most of it on housing. Importantly we aim to provide information that fall into that low income category who struggle to find or struggle to keep up payments on hosuing that is within their means.
One way to consider this is to look at averages and compare average income to the average price of a house. This is not unreasonable and can give an initial sense but does not fundamentally refelect the first priority which is to provide affordable housing for all. The flaw is that the averages omit the real area of concern which is all those on low income and sufficent availability of accomodation at the low end to house everyone that needs it. A great, in depth, analysis can be found here.
There are many ways to tackle this problem and they vary from state to state and from country to country. Some examples are:
- planning constraints – such as zoning or land trusts
- planning concessions – such as allowing commercial build if affordable housing is included too
- Housing cooperatives and associations
- Setting up specific agencies such as HUD which you can find here
- housing grants and subsidies
- Home inspection certification
We will be writing about and discussing all these areas and more as things develop here on the site. What we also really want to encourage are your own stories and comments that will make this site a down to earth and practical resource for those who are facing the issue right now.