Using Wall Street Tactics to Preserve Affordable Housing – Next City

A rather interesting article. Leaves a lot to think about, and focuses some attention on a problem with some agencies with “focus on affordable housing.”

Some may not think the one unit at a time approach to providing affordable housing as accomplishing much, but a 13 unit Chapter 40B project will only provide 3 affordable units. So when an agency that provides funding for Chapter 40B projects comes to own, by foreclosure, a single unit of housing,  letting it go without an affordable housing deed restriction is almost criminal.  And definitely contrary to the agency’s overarching purpose.

Unfortunately,  as the article points out, even affordable housing funding agencies are bottom line focused. Often losing sight of their stated purpose.

In Dennis,  an agency with an affordable housing focus provided a low interest loan for acquisition of a residential unit. The buyer defaulted during the recession. The agency foreclosed on the unit at a value well within local affordability guidelines. Ultimately the agency sold the unit at a loss WITHOUT AN AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEED RESTRICTION. A lost opportunity.

The article below points out that we need a strategy to avoid such shortsightedness.

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/affordable-housing-invesment-reit

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