Courtesy of NYC & Company/Photos by Julienne Schaer
Housing costs and rents in walkable
neighborhoods are rising due to market demand
By Brad Broberg
Some people call them amenities. Emily Talen calls them “the good stuff.” Baked into most walkable urban eighborhoods, they are the just-around- the-corner perks that make housing in walkable urban neighborhoods so popular, yet increasingly expensive and in short supply.
“The places with the good stuff — shops and parks
and schools and everything else — those are the high
demand places and we’re not producing them fast
enough and we’re not making sure a diverse set of people
are occupying those kinds of places,” said Talen, professor of urbanism at the University of Chicago.
That’s a big takeaway from a study Talen and colleague
Julia Koschinsky led for the Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD). The study targeted
the supply of HUD-supported housing within walkable locations in six cities — Chicago, Boston, Phoenix,
Atlanta, Seattle and Miami.
“We looked at different kinds of affordable housing —
vouchers, public housing, mixed-income housing that
combines market rate with subsidized housing — and
we found that across the board there was a lack of affordable locations in walkable neighborhoods,” Talen said.
But the problem doesn’t just hurt people who are getting government assistance. “Regular folks ... are getting
priced out and being forced to move away from walkable places,” she said.
That’s what happens when demand overwhelms supply. “It’s the millennials, it’s the aging baby boomers, it’s
the elderly. There’s a lot of different demographics all
converging on this demand for walkability,” Talen said.
There's a lack of affordable locations in walkable neighborhoods.