Posts Tagged ‘low income housing’

Affordable Housing Competition Set for University Students

April 24th, 2015 Comments off

image blue thumbs with blueprint  fotosearch clip artThe Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Low Income Housing Challenge pits eight teams from six West Coast universities against each other to develop affordable housing proposals for potential future development.

Now in its 24th year, the goal is to attract undergrad and grad students to be part of the next generation of the affordable housing industry. The bank challenges the students to envision new and innovative models of housing for low-to-moderate income residents.

According to what housingwire tells MHProNews, a jury of affordable housing professionals with backgrounds in architecture, development, finance, planning and government will judge the proposals. One of the guidelines is the proposals must not only be forward looking, but also feasible given the current economic and environmental climate. No mention was made of factory-built housing. ##

(Image credit: fotosearch–blueprint with thumbs up)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Report: Investor-owned rentals not Conducive to Affordable Housing

July 18th, 2014 Comments off

Affordable housing activists are concerned the purchase by investors of many distressed and low-cost homes will lead to rental prices too high for the low-income community in many urban areas to afford while the owners are part of an absentee corporate structure, according to a report noted in “While cash sales are down from their July 2011 high of 42.8%, they are still very high (at 38.4%) compared to the 2001-2007 average of 25%,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for Core Logic, at a conference on the topic two weeks ago. “Investors in general, whether institutional or ‘mom and pop,’ are primarily concentrated on two types of assets: distressed (real estate owned and short sales) and existing homes, rather than new builds.” Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) says, “Nearly two-thirds of the tenants in these corporate rentals surveyed in my district are burdened with unaffordable rent. If there is anything that we should have learned from the housing crisis, it is that Wall Street’s top priority is increasing its bottom line, not improving communities or creating products that provide long-term benefits to consumers.” MHProNews has learned residential rents have risen 20 percent since 2008.##

(Editor’s Note: For a related topic, see Subsidized Housing, Our Secret Enemy?)

(Photo credit:

3D Printer Cranks out Ten Homes in One Day

April 24th, 2014 Comments off

A private Chinese company has built ten stand alone homes in 24 hours, using a huge 3Dprinter and construction waste mixed with cement, according to Suzhou-based construction materials firm Winsun creates cement/glass panels in a central factory and ships them to the site for assembly. has learned the print pattern leaves air gaps that act as insulation. Costing just under $5,000 for each home, Winsun envisions the homes as meeting the growing need for low income housing in China. ##

(Photo credit: New Materials–3D home)

Brooklyn’s B2 Modular Tower Delayed; City not Happy

April 22nd, 2014 Comments off

Following a story last covered Dec. 17, 2013 regarding Forest City Ratner’s 32-story Atlantic Yards modular housing project in Brooklyn, New York, reports the completion date of the B2 Tower has now been pushed back to late 2015, instead of June 2014. Shanghai-based Greenland Holding Group, which invested roughly $200 million for a 70 percent stake, says the entire complex, including the 20 percent low income apartments, will require eight years. Rents will range from $400 to $4,400. Neighborhood leaders and Brooklyn officials have complained the project is moving too slow, while labor unions, strong in New York, have griped about the loss of jobs due to the modular method of construction. Nevertheless, city officials see the hope. Says Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, “We’re not happy about the pace of construction. But we think that modular is something we should continue to pursue across the city.” ##

(Image credit:–Atlantic Yards complex)

Modular Apartments Provide much needed Affordable Housing

April 3rd, 2014 Comments off

A survey of Portland, Oregon by the National Low Income Housing Foundation of Washington, D. C. revealed that a breadwinner working a minimum wage job in the Portland area would have to work 78 hours to be able to afford a market rate two bedroom apartment. More and more people are earning the minimum wage but there are fewer and fewer affordable rentals, according to (“Affordable” means rents that are no more than 30 percent of a tenant’s income.). With an apartment vacancy rate that is among the lowest in the nation, working class families are being pushed out of the city. Nearly three of four (72%) renters who earn under $50,000 a year are paying over 30 percent of their income for housing. Some private developers are seeking code variances and waivers of development fees in order to build less expensively for the low income market.

One creative solution, as reported Dec. 19, 2013 is the Kah San Chako Haws, a modular three-story nine-unit apartment project that will charge $500 for studios and $800 for two bedroom apartments in southeast Portland. Developed by the local Native American Youth and Family Center, it cost around $180,000 per unit to build, $40,000 less than comparable traditional build, and the cost may come down to $130,000 per unit if built on a larger scale. One huge advantage: It took only three days to assemble, reducing construction traffic and noise considerably. ##

(Photo credit: Native American Youth and Family Center–Kah San Chako Haws modular apartments in Portland, OR)

Affordable Housing Bolstered by Federal Program, Private Bank

January 21st, 2014 Comments off

The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, through the M&T Bank, awarded $35.5 million in Affordable Home Program (AHP) subsidies in 2013 that will help finance 48 affordable housing initiatives, creating or preserving 3,072 units of affordable housing, as informs MHProNews. This includes 2,200 very low income dwellings in New Jersey, New York, U. S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Maryland, Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania. Grants include: $760,000 to help Nueva Esperanza with the Roberto Clemente Homes project, which includes the construction of 38 rental units for low-income families in Philadelphia, PA. Heritage Christian Services, Inc. will receive a $450,000 grant to acquire and rehabilitate a 152-unit garden apartment complex for low- and very low-income seniors in North Syracuse, NY. The renovations will convert 16 of the units to be fully handicap-accessible, and an additional nine units will be made accessible for residents with audio or visual impairments. “Our loan officers live and work in the communities they serve, and they are keenly aware of local housing needs and how best to meet them,” said JoAnne Schwartz, Community Reinvestment Act Officer for M&T Bank. “By partnering with the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, we’re able to provide developers additional funding to aid in the creation of safe and affordable housing for our communities.”

(Photo credit:–multifamily home construction)

California Land Lease Community on Track to Convert

October 18th, 2013 Comments off

The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto, California, currently home to 104 factory-built homes, and recognized in the city’s comprehensive plan as one of the largest sources of low-income housing, may be sold for over $30 million if owners Toufic and Eva Jisser’s plan is approved by the city. The Buena Vista Residents Association, with the help of state and local programs, offered to pay $14.5 million for the community but the Jissers denied the offer, preferring to pay homeowners $11,000 each in relocation expenses, $21,000 if their home could not be moved. The community is largely low-income Latino, and the main reason for not wanting to move is that Palo Alto Schools rank sixth out of 1,000 California school districts. According to its Regional Housing Needs Assessment, Palo Alto is obligated for 1,200 affordable housing units by 2014, and currently only has 200, and would lose more if Buena Vista is converted. Housing costs in Palo Alto equate to roughly four times that of living in Buena Vista. As informs MHProNews, the Jisser’s lawyer says her clients have a constitutional right to sell their property. The city has 30 days to make a decision.

(Photo credit: nbcsandiego–manufactured housing community)

National Association of Home Builders Sounds the Alarm

July 10th, 2013 Comments off

The U.S. Senate is considering rewriting the tax code which could eliminate housing tax incentives and thereby negatively affect all home residential construction businesses as well as home values, taxes, and the economy in general. The mortgage interest deduction and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit could both be at stake, as could the capital gains exclusion for home sales. The NAHB tells MHProNews the importance of contacting your Senator to preserve these incentives without which the housing industry and homeowners could suffer serious harm. To contact your Senator, please click here.

(Image credit: National Association of Home Builders)

Modular Builder Snaps up Lots

June 3rd, 2013 Comments off

The reports from Warrnambool in southeastern Australia on the Indian Ocean all 17 lots designated for affordable housing sold within hours of being placed on the block by the Warrnambool City Council. Seven of the homes were snapped up by Rod Stephens of Modular Homes, as MHProNews has been informed. Aimed at responding to high median prices in the city, the initiative is part of a federally supported project that will subsidize low-income housing.

(Photo credit: tektumdailymercury–modular home in Australia)

Nonprofits Unite to Preserve Affordable Housing

April 30th, 2013 Comments off

After having raised $100 million from Citi, Morgan Stanley, Prudential Financial, Inc., the John D. and Catherine t. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation, the new Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET) is collaborating with 12 nonprofit housing providers to invest in affordable rental housing. The goal is to provide low-cost funding for nonprofits that are acquiring units to house people of modest means, according to housingfinance. Capital will be available to repair damaged structures. The program will target communities with access to public transportation and other necessities, without tapping into government subsidies or the low-income housing tax credits (LIHCT). Although these nonprofits do utilize that program as well, HPET provides a quicker alternative. MHProNews has learned the initial 12 nonprofit members of HPET are AHC Housing, Inc.; BRIDGE Housing Corp.; Chicanos Por La Causa; Community Preservation and Development Corp.; Eden Housing, Inc.; Hispanic Housing Development Corp.; Homes for America, Inc.; LINC Housing Corp.; Mercy Housing; Nevada HAND, Inc.; NHP Foundation; and National Housing Trust/Enterprise. Cynthia A. Parker, Chair of the HPET board and CEO of Bridge Corp. says, “Too many affordable properties are being lost due either to gentrification or neglect. By providing a ready source of funds, enabling BRIDGE and similar organizations to acquire properties, HPET is the answer that so many community development organizations have been looking for to address the pressing need to preserve and improve our existing stock of affordable rental housing.” The first project is already underway in Aurora, Ill.

(Photo credit: zimbio)