September 30, 2001

Where Will They Live: Metropolitan Dimensions of Affordable Housing Problems

Eric S. Belsky, Matthew Lambert

W01-9: As metropolitan areas sprawl to greater and greater distances from traditional city centers, smart growth has captured the attention of the press, electorate, and political leaders (Katz and Bradley 1999; Egan 1998, Eggen, 2000). The renewed focus on regional problems and the need for metropolitan-wide planning solutions to address them has underscored the importance of understanding and tackling affordable housing problems from a metropolitanwide perspective. At the same time, the slow and no-growth movement spawned by sprawl concerns threatens to further restrict the supply of land for development and drive housing costs still higher (Downs 1999). Metropolitan areas across the United States continue to expand at a record clip. Between 1990 and 2000, eleven of the nation’s metropolitan areas added 250,000 or more homes and 23 metropolitan areas saw their housing stock expand by 25 percent or more (JCHS 2001). The majority of that expansion has taken place at the fringes of metropolitan areas where land is cheaper and resistance to development is generally weaker than at locations closer to city centers. Yet much of this development remains unaffordable to lower income groups…

Category: Working Papers

Read More About: Housing Markets & Conditions, Rental Housing, Affordability