||Provide a Range of Housing Opportunities
What Does It Mean to Provide a Range of
Demographics change. In 1960, half of U.S. households contained children. By 2030, the ratio will have declined to about a quarter. The population is aging. Young people are staying single and childless longer. The economy, meanwhile, has continued to produce a growing income gap between those at the top and everyone else. The recent collapse of the housing market has laid bare a glut of large homes on large lots on the metropolitan edge. Add to these changes the growing preferences among young people for an “urban lifestyle” and you get a housing market that places a premium on smaller homes closer to destinations.
Supplying new types of homes in infill areas for a range of buyers and renters is a great challenge—and a great opportunity.
|“By 2020, more than 35,000 very low-income senior households will need affordable housing in the East Metro alone.”*
What Providing a Range of Housing Opportunities Is NOT
- Rows of cookie cutter homes on oversized lots
- Unaffordable rent and/or homeownership (people paying half or more of their income on housing)
- Choosing between housing and other basic needs
- Seniors having to move to a new town to find suitable living options
Benefits of Providing a Range of Housing Opportunities
- Senior citizens can “age in place” near their families
- Teachers, firefighters and other community servants can afford to live in the same town as they work
- Low-wage service workers can live close to their jobs
- Young singles can live the active, urban lifestyles they seek without having to move away
- Immigrant families can find homes that are large enough and affordable enough to meet their needs
All these cities have new development areas that mix types.
- St Louis Park
- Apple Valley
Challenges to Providing a Range of Housing Opportunities
- Fears that smaller homes will depress housing values
- Current laws, zoning regulations, building codes, parking requirements, roadway standards and lending practices that give preference to conventional suburban-style homes and development patterns despite a changing marketplace. (As one observer said, “You can have any type of home you like in the Twin Cities as long as it’s a single-family home, on a large suburban lot, far away from everything.”)