Affordable housing is crucial and basic to a healthy community.

Some people have come to view affordable housing units as a threat to their neighborhoods, fearing that, with an affordable housing complex nearby, their property value will go down and people with serious problems will move into their neighborhood. This is exactly opposite to the truth. Affordable housing benefits everybody and keeps our communities safer.

Everybody Needs Access to Affordable Housing

The sad fact is that wages haven’t kept up with inflation in recent years, and the costs of housing have skyrocketed.

This leaves most people with unhealthy choices. They can:

• Spend half their earnings or more just to pay rent
• Leave their children unsupervised while they work 2 or more jobs
• Live with many people crowded into a small space
• Resort to crimes like dealing drugs in order to make ends meet
• Live on the streets or in a homeless shelter
While government programs like HUD provide help for people who could not otherwise afford to pay their rent, there aren’t enough slots for everybody who needs help.

Affordable Housing is the Basis of a Healthy Society

Shelter is a basic human need. For low income families, affordable housing allows them to spend money in the community, and also allows parents to spend time at home with their children and pay for childcare when they have to be away working.

The current homeless crisis is a result of too many people living one paycheck away from the street. It has so many negative impacts, such as:

• Higher crime rates
• Rising costs of jail and prison
• Providing homeless services
• Higher costs of medical care to cover medical emergencies for the uninsured
• Less money circulating in the economy
• Ongoing costs of removal of homeless encampments, which just moves people with no place to go from one area to another without solving any problems

If the above sounds like a dystopian nightmare, it is. Unfortunately, this is the current situation in many big cities nationwide.

Affordable housing is the path to correcting a whole catalogue of social ills which are caused by the desperation of not being able to afford to pay skyrocketing housing costs on a low income job.

Building Attractive, Affordable Housing Communities is a Win for Everybody!

By providing low-income workers and people on a fixed-income with attractive, affordable housing we are ensuring that every person in our community has access to living the best life possible, even if they don’t have much money. We are making it possible for parents to spend time with their children, and we are helping our young people to see that the path to a good life is available to all who just do the best they can each day.

One of the basic truths in life is that when we help others we are also helping ourselves. Affordable housing is crucial to maintain safe, healthy and happy communities.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author: Mike Williams has written about the field of behavioral health for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to the Foundation for Affordable Housing news section.