Affordable Housing – Why is it Important?
At Development Solutions Group, we offer communities and municipalities in the Charlotte Metro area opportunities to increase their quality of life and commerce. Having the right mix and right type of housing is essential for the sustainability and economic health of a community as well as for the quality of life of its citizens. We do our research. Parts of this article reference information we found at the Retirement Housing Foundation.
The Graying of America
Most of us are aware that the cost of rent, and purchase prices of new homes are on the rise as our economy gains strength. At the same time, our country is experience what some refer to as the ‘Graying of America’ – the number of persons age 65 and over is dramatically increasing. It is becoming difficult for many people on fixed retirement incomes as well as those who have not yet reached retirement to afford a place to live.
Think about the people you know in this age bracket. They have so much to contribute to our communities. Retirees and experienced professionals over age 65 are the local voices of many close knit, successful communities in the Charlotte area. With improving healthcare, Americans are living longer. Most adults remain healthy and active during the later decades of their lives, staying involved in local activities, church and nonprofit organizations, often serving as infludential voices for their communities. No doubt, Baby Boomers are engaged, valuable citizens. Working affordable housing options into a town’s master plan ensures that there will be places for people to live as they age— in many cases people age into important roles in our communities.
Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes
Sadly, the United States is losing thousands of units of existing affordable housing each year. According RHG (the Retirement Housing Foundation), originally, the government incentivized developers to build affordable housing with programs that helped finance new construction with a promise that after 20 years owners could convert the buildings to conventional housing. Now, as the 20 years are ending, affordable housing is being transitioned to for-profit housing.
Safe, secure, affordable housing is a basic human need. No one should be put in a position of having to decide whether to pay for rent or medicine, even food. Having high quality places for people on fixed budgets to live in our communities is essential. Not offering an excellent quality of life for aging people in our communities will inevitably create a drag on our healthcare system, causing everyone to suffer. Sensible planning means making sure that our neighborhoods are beautifully designed with access to walking trails, amenities that encourage exercise, and offering affordable housing to include everyone. That’s exactly what we do at DSG.
Everyone should benefit, and feel welcomed into the wonderful communities in the Charlotte area, and no one should have to struggle to afford a rent or house payment to the point of deprivation of their basic human needs.
Making sure our communities consider the aging is important, but equally important is offering affordable housing for the valuable service workers that work in local towns. These are the firefighters, police officers, daycare workers, teachers, and municipal professionals that keep us safe and educate the children. Some of the most necessary jobs in our community are the jobs that loyal citizens perform with very little pay. Every community should provide opportunities for these citizens to live near their jobs, so that they can enjoy the safety of a short commute, along being a fully engaged citizen. Communities where people work, live and play in one area are the healthiest and happiest in our nation. Furthermore, crime rates decline in places that cultivate a high level of engagement and community pride.
We Owe It to Our Aging Adults + Hardworking Service Oriented Professionals
It’s a no-brainer that every community should be planned with everyone in mind. In our country, many people selflessly fulfill service-oriented jobs that are low in pay yet fulfilling careers, geared towards enriching the lives of others. At the same time, we are all aging. Many of us are approaching a time in our lives where we might outlive the retirement funds we are putting back for the future. Great communities welcome and encourage affordable housing opportunities for people who are living on fixed budgets. Some of us will be touched more directly than others by having affordable housing in our towns – but, everyone will benefit.