How easy is it to find an affordable and spacious apartment in New York City? Today, many might find this idea amusing. Why is that? Over the past few decades, the cost of living has skyrocketed, and many have found it tough to find affordable housing in major cities and even outlying neighborhoods. This problematic situation that our nation is finding itself in is referred to as the affordable housing crisis.
What is the affordable housing crisis? As previously mentioned, many families and individuals are experiencing difficulty finding an affordable place to live. Every year, nearly 600,000 families and 1.35 million children find themselves homeless. This is due to the ever increasing cost of housing, especially in urban areas. As corporations are looking to grow their businesses and developers are building higher priced apartments, lower costing apartments are becoming harder to find even as the need for them grows. Also with areas that are experiencing rapid gentrification, notably New York City, longtime residents are being pushed out of their homes and the neighborhoods they love. Many people are affected by the urban housing crisis. Recent college graduates who are looking for work, families, single parents families and the elderly are just a few who are affected by this.
What steps is the government taking to end this housing crisis? There are a few federal programs that have been implemented to provide affordable housing. Two of these are listed under Section 8 of the housing law, providing subsidized rent in privately owned properties. Unfortunately, the federal government continues to slash the budget for these programs that many families and individuals have come to depend on. So even though there have been measures taken by the federal and even some local governments to provide affordable housing, funding continues to be an issue as not everyone in a political position is in support of these programs.
Fortunately, we are seeing more private business owners and startup companies aid in the effort to provide affordable housing for millennials, as they are the next generation who are affected by the urban housing crisis. Options like co-living have proven to be effective as housing expenses can be divided between multiple people, making living in cities more affordable. There are also many private real estate developers who aim to build affordable housing units within the heart of cities like Manhattan. Chris Kwak, one of the founders of real estate development company SRH Development, believes that by providing affordable housing in the midst of cities, rather than on the outskirts or in less developed areas, residents can be offered a better quality education, better employment opportunities, and anything these cities have to offer culturally and socially.
Hopefully, within the near future, we can see more progress being made to end the urban housing crisis. As of now, it’s encouraging to see private companies taking strides to provide affordable housing for those who need it. As for the government, while there continues to be a struggle on a federal level in allocating funds for affordable housing, hopefully within the near future we can see more programs designed to help the heart of America.
Guest blogger Eden Dixon