Affordable Housing and Its Impact on the Economy

Nikki WallerDirector of Financial & Relational Development

For those of you worried about the impact of affordable housing on our tax dollars, look at these numbers.

Studies have shown that those who grow up in affordable housing have a higher income over time. But what will it do for us today?

Not only will the economic impact of the income the children of those who receive affordable housing vouchers make more than make up for federal tax dollars spent on housing them today (based off the previous study), but it will create revenue now. 

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Local Income = local shopping in retail and grocery stores as well as more recreational spending and spending on childhood education. 

Side note: According to a study by Sandra Newman and Scott Holupka, affordable housing is associated with greater spending on children’s education. The sweet spot for spending is when families spend 30% of their monthly income on housing. These families spent $125 more on average on child enrichment than those who spend 10% of their monthly income on housing and $75 more per year on average than those who spend 50% of their monthly income on housing. 💡Smarter children means...

Local jobs = not only directly to build these homes, but also indirectly creating local jobs to support the build. These would be suppliers, distributors, etc. 

Local Government revenue = this comes from fees, permits to build, property taxes and sales taxes. Government revenue is a good thing, we can elaborate on why later.

Now I hear the skeptic in the room, you’re asking who has tested this? Can we get some data to back these numbers up?

We are glad you asked! The city of Austin, TX spent over $55 million in housing bonds  on affordable housing in 2006. gave us this cool infographic to sum it up, but if you’re really jazzed about affordable housing like we are, you can read the full analysis here.

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Source: CivicEconomics and HousingWorks Austin – Downloaded from

Have we already mentioned how affordable housing benefits everyone? We need affordable housing of this scale in our community and we need the community to see the value in it. To clarify, affordable housing isn’t free housing. It’s providing a safe and decent home at 30% of a family’s income. Consider your income level, is your housing cost at 30%? 

Consider why not, we’d love to hear your thoughts.