The truth about affordable housing

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) and Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement (CCPPI) program in Houston’s Greater Third Ward are partnering to bring quality housing to Houstonians. Learn more about affordable housing myths.

Myth #1 – Affordable housing is for the very poor
The MRA/CCPPI program is for homebuyers who can meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s low-to-moderate income limits for the Houston area, which are a maximum of $66,550 for a single person and $95,050 for a family of four. 

Myth #2 – Affordable housing is cheap construction in undesirable neighborhoods
In this instance, affordability is due to a land subsidy, which helps reduce development costs. The homes come with modern finishes and all the other amenities available in market-rate housing. In fact, market-rate homes and affordable homes are often the same models and built on the same block. The only difference is MRA provides the land for affordable homes for free or at a drastically reduced cost.

Myth #3 – Affordable housing is not available to the middle/working class
On the contrary, this program is for the working class. Think teachers, firefighters, police officers, veterans, medical assistants, governmental workers, young families, and others just starting out and otherwise unable to afford the Houston housing market. 

Myth #4 – Affordable housing negatively impacts communities
Participating homebuyers undergo credit checks and complete a home buying class to learn about the financial responsibilities that come with homeownership. In addition, there is a requirement to stay for a specified number of years, which provides neighborhood stability and prevents the properties from being flipped.

Myth #5 – Anyone who lives in affordable housing does not pay taxes
The tax bill comes due for buyers of these homes just like it does for everyone else.

Myth #6 – Affordable housing drives down property values
Research consistently shows that affordable housing does not hurt property values. The MRA/CCPPI program redevelops lots that have sat vacant for years. It’s part of the positive changes making the Third Ward an attractive place to live, work, and play.

How do I qualify?
Think you might qualify for this program? Contact the builders –Agape Development, HBDI, Mayberry Homes, or Cole Klein BuildersCCPPI, or the Houston Area Urban League.  

More information is available here