In a country where housing supply is not keeping up with demand, especially for cash-strapped working families and millennials, many cities are using inclusionary zoning ordinances to make sure middle-class homebuyers aren’t left out in the cold when housing developers draw up their plans.
Key to any discussion on affordable housing is the definition of “affordable” and exactly who can afford it.
By now, we’ve all heard about the Silicon Valley barista who commutes three hours to work at a Starbucks downtown. But, now try imagining yourself paying $850,000 for a 2,700 sq. ft. townhouse in a city like Alexandria, Va., or someplace closer to home.
The fact is, in many metro areas, people who never considered themselves “low-income” are finding themselves priced out of the housing market altogether. Teachers, nurses, cops and accountants are just a few of those feeling the squeeze. If you’re a millennial working in customer service and eyeing that studio apartment near work and a transit stop… yeah, you might need to live with mom and dad just a few more years.