By Brad Broberg
Avacant lot. An obsolete building. A sea of empty parking spaces. If they’re surplus public property, they’re stuck on the bench when they could be going to bat for affordable housing. The game plan goes like this.
A local jurisdiction reviews its real estate, decides what’s
disposable and designates affordable housing as a priority use for any surplus property. Suitable sites for
development are made available at little or no cost on
the condition that developers reduce prices for a certain number of dwellings. The discounted land plus low
income housing tax credits and other financing mechanisms subsidize the affordable units.
The idea is not entirely new and it’s not always easy to hit
a home run. But with many of the nation’s cities facing
what Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Julian Castro calls an affordable housing crisis,
Allocating public land helps
build in some affordability.
… or Affordable Housing
Public land partnerships make
housing available for all income levels.
Olney Springs is Montgomery Housing Partnership’s first for-sale, mixed-income community, and was completed in Sept
2015. It features 114 townhomes and single-family homes.
Photos courtesy of Montgomery Housing Partnership
Courtesy of Montgomery Housing Partnership