Thursday, June 22, 2006

Density "A Precision Tool, Not A Hammer" To Help Create Affordable Housing

The extent to which dense design increases the stock of affordable housing hinges on a variety of factors, including market conditions, demographics, the regulatory and political environment, and availability of land and development incentives, according to a group of land use experts assembled by the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The relationship between density and housing affordability was discussed during a recent ULI land use policy forum chaired by Nicolas Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The consensus of the group: Denser construction does not necessarily translate into more affordable units unless other steps are taken to ensure the inclusion of lower-priced units. "Density is one tool in the production of affordable housing," Retsinas said. "It is not a hammer, but a precision tool that can help" increase the stock of affordable housing. (Source: ULI)

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