Mixed-income housing

What is mixed-income housing?

Mixed-income housing is an alternative to traditional subsidized-housing initiatives for low-income Americans. Mixed-income housing communities are developments that comprise differing levels of affordability, with some units at market rate and others available to low-income households at below-market rates.

Deeper definition

Mixed-income housing is a model for affordable housing that does not concentrate on building in dense, urban areas. It is intended to provide good housing for people with diverse income classifications.

The mix of affordable and market-rate units that make up mixed-income developments differs from community to community, and depends partly on the local housing market and the marketability of the units themselves. Mixed-housing communities include diverse types of housing, including apartments, single-family homes and town homes.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, says mixed-income housing raises the standard of living for low-income residents. HUD says it increases property values, stabilizes and diversifies communities, and results in a better quality of homes and services.

Mixed-income housing example

Mixed-income housing aims to, among other things, improve low-income residents’ access to public amenities and infrastructure. Let’s say a young, low-income couple seek an affordable place to live near public transportation so that they both can get to work. They choose a community built with a combination of public and private dollars that is near a new transit line. The community includes a small section of subsidized apartments, as well as middle-income homes and town homes. The couple move into a subsidized apartment, but after a few years save enough to buy a market-rate, single-family home in their same community.

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