Mixed Income, Mixed Outcomes?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015



The Cleveland Federal Reserve has published a new study. A Long Ride to Work: Job Access and Public Transportation in Northeast Ohio is a resource detailing findings on regional transit access and employment opportunity, particularly as it affects lower income workers and families. Find the full report here.

A new Urban Land Institute report looks at innovative financing efforts. Preserving Multifamily Workforce and Affordable Housing, published by the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, profiles 16 leading efforts to retain the affordability of rental units that have either lost or are at risk of losing government subsidies, as well as units that are likely to be repositioned to serve higher-income households. Find the full report here.


The Citi Foundation launches the Community Progress Makers Fund, a $20 million grant initiative to support local nonprofit organizations in the U.S. The fund will provide unrestricted grant funding to help community organizations lead urban transformation efforts that catalyze economic opportunities for low-
income residents. Click here to learn more and to apply.

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Christine Peale
Homeownership Won't Protect You From Displacement

Christie Peale, Center for NYC Neighborhoods  
While we often think of rising rents as causing displacement in gentrifying areas, many homeowners are also vulnerable to . . .  More 

Mixed Income, Mixed Outcomes?

Rick Jacobus, Street Level Advisors     
The desire to create and sustain more mixed-income communities has been a key motivation behind many inclusionary housing programs. But does it matter if the housing is in the same building?    More 

Review of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime & Resistance
in the Heart of San Francisco

James Tracy, San Francisco Community Land Trust 
The Tenderloin, as one of San Francisco's poorest and most diverse neighborhoods, routinely receives one-dimensional derogatory press coverage in both mainstream and alternative media. Randy Shaw's book, The Tenderloin, takes the long view to show the larger historical forces that shaped the neighborhood with an emphasis on the activism that has given its residents a fighting chance in a city that has experienced multiple displacement spasms in recent decades . . .  More 

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You Said It!

"Here in western Europe almost all countries have rent regulation, in one way or another. It is basically only in Ireland and in England where rents in the private sector are unregulated.
But in all other countries rents are linked to either Consumer Price Index, or inflation, or rents are compared and set with rents in the neighbourhood . . . Of course, tenants as well as homeowners must be able to plan for their future, and know where they will be in say two, three, five years. And access to homes are not regulated by 'supply & demand', as cars and dishwashers are - not anywhere in the world". --Magnus Hammar, International Union of Tenants, more 

"Gentrification conversations are very important in 'hot' markets, but can be used inappropriately in 'cold' markets. Where values are severely depressed, rising values aid existing underwater owners and provide a market in which both investors and owners can afford to make improvements on properties. Similarly, where rents are too low, empty multifamily units sit and rot. Let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater." --Steve Lockwood, more

"It seems to me that this post confuses rent increases with gentrification. But where rent is rising throughout a region (as has been the case in most of the United States since 2008), rent increases can occur even if a neighborhood's demography is unchanged. To describe that as 'gentrification' is really a radical redefinition of the term." --ML, more
"Well, rising rents are certainly an indication of pressure on the existing residents. Given that most renter households' dollar incomes aren't going up as fast as rents, the households either have to move or pay more of their income for rent. Both trends--neither desirable--are presumably happening, the question is on what scale. If you can identify where rents are rising, you know places to look for gentrification." --Wanderer, more
Author Reply
"Rising rents are a flag that something is happening. And extreme and recent increases in median rents (like we are seeing now) are an indicator that gentrification is likely more widespread than can be seen with the current metrics in question . . . Housing costs in many places have increased dramatically since 2013. This is not intended to stand as absolute evidence that gentrification is happening in every single place. Merely to show that 'something more is happening' than can be seen in the Governing dataset." --Josh Ishimatsu, more 

The Answer

Do inclusionary housing requirements make housing prices go up for everyone else?

A: No, they do not.

Market-rate developers are business people. They charge as much as the market will bear. When housing prices go up, they charge more; when housing prices go down, they ask less. Developers are "price-takers" not "price-setters" because they only control a tiny share of the housing market. A large majority of rental and for-sale housing is located in existing buildings, not in brand-new buildings, limiting the influence of new housing, and inclusionary requirements, on home prices.

The Answer is for you to use. You can download a PDF to print here

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. Founded in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone. NLIHC's goals are . . .
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Shelterforce magazine, the voice of community development, is seeking a sharp, organized, detail-oriented, flexible, cause-driven person to join our small editorial staff. We are a 40-year-old nonprofit that publishes both online and in print, serving practitioners working in the fields of affordable housing, community development and reinvestment, community organizing, community planning, creative placemaking, progressive urban planning, community economic development, racial and economic equity and justice, and related fields and movements . . . Read Full Listing

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In This Issue

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Featured Bloggers
Center for Health, Environment & Justice

Housing Assistance Council

Michael Bodaken
National Housing Trust

Raphael Bostic
USC Price School of Public Policy

Janis Bowdler
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

HOPE Credit Union

Burlington Associates

Democracy Collaborative

Tufts University

Jamaal Green
Portland State University

Fund for Public Schools

Lisa Hodges
Hodges Development, LLC

Planner, Louisa County, Va.

National CAPACD

Rick Jacobus
Street Level Advisors

Opportunity Agenda


National Housing Institute

Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
City University of New York

Tulane University

Habitat for Humanity

National Urban League


ACLU Maryland

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities  

San Francisco Community 
Land Trust

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Shelterforce Weekly

Associate Editor, Keli Tianga

Publisher, Harold Simon 

Assistant Publisher, Terri L. Clegg