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Does Affordable Housing Lower Property Values?

Posted on April 14, 2023

Does Affordable Housing Lower Property Values?

If you live near an existing property earmarked for a future Habitat for Humanity home, you may be wondering this same question. If you’re concerned about what will happen to the property value of your home, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the answer.

A study was done by the Director of Housing in Alexandria, Virginia to find an answer. She enlisted Christina Stacy, a principal research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute and a volunteer member of the city’s Alexandria Housing Development Corporation to execute this research.

What she found, after analyzing Zillow data between 2000 and 2020, and controlling for overall market trends, suggest that the only significant change in property values was in a positive direction. Homes located within a typical block of the affordable housing home(s) saw property value increase by a small margin.

“I think the point here is that it’s not a negative impact,” said Stacy. She stresses that the analysis doesn’t prove the relationship is causal, only correlated. But it adds another finding to the growing body of research on what adding housing for lower-income people does to the community around it. “There’s so much evidence about the positive impacts of affordable housing: on reducing homelessness, lifting people out of poverty, improving health outcomes, improving long-term outcomes for kids… There are so many benefits.”

Affordable housing reduces the number of homeless individuals and families, offering a hand up to people to lift them out of a life of poverty. A safe and affordable place to live also improves health, creates additional educational opportunities for current and future generations, and increases mental health.

To read more about this study, click on the link below.

Author: Angie Demers