Does affordable housing mean less profitability?

Not at all, but we need to make one distinction – there’s a difference between what we perceive affordability and attainability to mean. Affordability often means government subsidy, as in, affordable housing program. People are just a bit edgy about living in anything associated with the words ‘government project’ – especially if you look at the results.

The closest you’ll find today of government subsidy is inclusionary zoning, requiring 15% of all new housing to be a certain % below the median price. Which really isn’t much at all, and only two states (Wisconsin, Maryland) have it.

Attainability, however, is to be able to live in your ideal neighborhood, the one you never thought you had enough income for. For the creative class, that means places like Manhattan, San Francisco, Boulder… Affordable? No way. Attainable? Yes. It may mean smaller units and/or shared housing with multiple bedrooms and no backyard, but it also means having better restaurants, cafes, coffeehouses, nighlife, parks, workplaces and mobility freedom as a result.

We just need to build more of them attractively.

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