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Bending the Cost Curve on Affordable Rental Development

2013 Allison Charette, John Griffith, Andrew Jakabovics, Michael A. Spotts, Lynn M. Ross, Molly Simpson, Enterprise Community Partners and the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing

Summary

As public funding sources come under threat - in efforts to reduce government expenditures or simplify the tax code - it becomes increasingly necessary to identify opportunities to lower the cost of providing affordable homes. This research brief explores the many factors that raise the cost of affordable rental housing development.

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DESCRIPTION

As public funding sources come under threat - in efforts to reduce government expenditures or simplify the tax code- it becomes increasingly necessary to identify opportunities to lower the cost of providing affordable homes. This research brief explores the many factors that raise the cost of affordable rental housing development, and is based on a series of interviews and roundtable discussions co-hosted by the Terwilliger Center and Enterprise over 12 months with more than 150 developers, financiers, and policy makers in ten markets. Conclusions drawn from these discussions formed the basis for the research, which examines how regulatory barriers, such as land use and zoning, process delays, and building codes, combine with financing obstacles to make affordable rental development more difficult.

This brief is the first in a series of publications on the cost issue. Future installments will include a full report with detailed recommendations for bending the cost curve and market based case studies that explore this issue from a local perspective.

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