Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Affordable housing vs. supportive housing

From David Smith of Recap Real Estate Advisors (David publishes an e-letter on housing issues, particularly the financing of affordable housing, and is the founder of the Affordable Housing Institute):

Who 'deserves' affordable housing? We justify it in public-policy terms as a haven out of poverty, and yet some people's poverty is more than just monetary, their personal self-sufficiency impaired by unwise life choices, unlucky circumstances, or just a bad roll of the genetic dice. To become more independent, these folks need customized life-skills services delivered in the home, the growing subset of affordable housing known as Supportive Housing. For owners, coordinating these new on-site activities with the routines of normal leasing, management and administration requires newly defined roles and rules of engagement, as explored in this month's State of the Market 38: The Push for Supportive Housing. It begins:

As affordable rental housing resources become more scarce, the market share of them devoted to Supportive Housing (SH) is climbing, as government increasingly pursues homeless-prevention and homeless-mitigation strategies that emphasize permanent housing and community-based solutions, placing ever more responsibility on private actors.

Given the financial incentives, many affordable housing providers are migrating into supportive housing, which is nudging them beyond basic real estate and into new, more service-intensive businesses.

You'll have to write him to get the e-letter.

Anyway, this idea of support systems is one that I extend to other areas, such as civic engagement capacity building, commercial district revitalization, especially the fostering of independent businesses, and the take up of sustainable transportation modes such as biking, walking, and transit.

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