Bending the Cost Curve on Affordable Rental Housing Development
Tackling the question of how to lower the cost of developing long-term affordable rental housing has important financial and policy implications. As federal subsidy sources come under threat, either specifically targeted as being wasteful of taxpayer dollars or as part of a general retrenchment in support for tax expenditures or tax code simplification, identifying opportunities to lower the cost of providing affordable homes is increasingly necessary.
Enterprise Community Partners and the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing launched a new joint research project in September 2012 to examine the various factors impacting the cost of affordable rental housing projects and to develop policy recommendations for developers, financiers, and policymakers. The project team hosted a series of roundtable discussions hosted in Chicago, Denver, Los Angles, New York City, and San Francisco and additional interviews in Boston, Houston, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. The roundtables and interviews allowed the project team to engage with over 150 key stakeholders who helped to identify several elements that are common to driving costs in all markets and other items that are local or regional challenges.
The initial results of this work are featured in a new report released at the 2013 ULI Fall Meeting - Bending the Cost Curve on Affordable Rental Housing Development: Understanding the Drivers of Cost.
This discussion paper, the first in a series, identifies the most commonly cited cost drivers, provides a brief overview of their impact and applicability, and includes high-level recommendations to promote a more efficient delivery system.
Throughout the roundtable discussions and interview for this project, a number of resources emerged:
- ULI Rose Center Webinar – Parking Reform: How parking innovations can encourage transit- and pedestrian-friendly infill development
- Parking Requirements as a Barrier to Housing Development: Regulation and Reform in Los Angeles
Affordable and Workforce Housing
- America’s Housing Policy – The Missing Piece: Affordable Workforce Rentals
- The Space Between: Realities and Possibilities in Preserving Unsubsidized Affordable Rental Housing