Affordable Housing

KC topics that don't fit anywhere else.
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FangKC
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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:26 am

flyingember wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:59 am
FangKC wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:57 am
The fastest way to create affordable housing is to renovate existing vacant houses that are not too far gone. I don't know what the current count is, but the last I heard was that were up to 14,000 vacant houses in KCMO. Some are owned by the Land Bank. Renovating an existing vacant house is often cheaper than building a new domicile.
Roughly 1/3 of a home's total cost is from digging the foundation to roof sheathing and if those are solid it's absolutely worth a rehab. There's too many ways for a place to have rental grade everything and be super affordable if they're keeping all the walls the same.

While we were building we watched wood costs go up every month. Apparently our framing would have been 10% more expensive if we had waited just 6 months.

Yes, the trade war is making a lot of materials more expensive at a time when housing has already become too expensive for many residents.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:58 am

You can still buy a 3 BR house west of 71 for under $50k. The mortgage would be under $200/month. I think this is more of an education issue than a supply issue. I don’t see how you could get more affordable than that.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by flyingember » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:37 am

beautyfromashes wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:58 am
You can still buy a 3 BR house west of 71 for under $50k. The mortgage would be under $200/month. I think this is more of an education issue than a supply issue. I don’t see how you could get more affordable than that.
With taxes and good insurance, somewhere around $260-280 per month (depends on the interest rate)

You could do some painting, do a gut rehab of a bathroom, caulk around all windows and that's still affordable. It won't show up on HGTV but that's kind of the point.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:20 pm

Yes, that is why all levels of government really need to get behind rehabbing some of the vacant housing stock we already have. The problem often is that many banks will not give loans on houses east of Troost--especially loans for rehabbing. Banks might finance a house purchase after the house has been rehabbed, but not finance the rehab costs or the purchase of the vacant house. There needs to be a financing mechanism for this.

It's a nationwide problem--financing the rehabbing of vacant houses. It's less a problem in quickly-gentrifying markets, since private investors with their own money come in to do rehabs because the profit margins are very lucrative. But in markets like Kansas City, and especially on the east side, margins are smaller, and many investors don't want the risk.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:22 pm

Housing Advocates in Portland Just Did the Nearly Impossible

They got a key city board to recommend re-legalizing small duplexes, triplexes and affordability incentives on almost any lot.

https://www.sightline.org/2018/09/17/re ... MzgyNjg3S0

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:42 am

What Happens When Affordability Restrictions Expire for Half a Million Homes?
...
Hundreds of thousands of affordable units created under one of the biggest federal housing programs ever could start disappearing soon, in a manner of speaking. According to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation, nearly half a million units created with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) could be lost in the next ten years.

Most LIHTC (“ly-tek”) units are required to remain affordable for 30 years, the report notes. The LIHTC program was created in 1987, and the affordability requirements have started to expire on the first funded units. Between 2020 and 2029, more than 485,000 units will reach year 30, and could become unaffordable to low-income residents — including their existing tenants — without additional subsidy, the report says.
...
https://tinyurl.com/y7a8jw4b

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:48 am

Save Inc. announces partnership with Vecino Group to build affordable housing complex at 31st and Harrison.

Youth who are homeless will soon have a place to call home in Midtown
Near 31st and Harrison, what is now just an empty lot will soon be home to 50 units of affordable housing.

Save, Inc. is teaming up with Vecino Group on the project funded with federal low-income housing credits.
...

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/y ... fyJLoqbrCc

https://saveinckc.org/

https://vecinogroup.com/locations/

Save, Inc. owns this surface parking lot near 31st and Harrison--SW of the intersection.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0700217 ... a=!3m1!1e3

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by DaveKCMO » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:07 am


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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:15 pm

Editorials
‘Bold ideas’ for housing and neighborhoods a road map for progress on KC’s East Side
Kansas City’s slow but essential march to rebuilding the East Side continues. Three recent developments suggest progress in some of the area’s poorest neighborhoods.

The committee overseeing the one-eighth-cent Central City sales tax has finally issued a set of initial recommendations. The committee wants to spend $6.1 million on seven East Side projects in the first year of the tax. The City Council has the final say.

One of the recommendations — $2.4 million for the Linwood Shopping Square at Linwood Boulevard and Prospect Avenue — should undergo a thorough review. The Linwood complex has received other public subsidies over the years, and council members will want to make sure it deserves yet another bite of the apple.

The other projects on the list are more promising. More than $1.7 million would be spent on two child care centers, a key need on the East Side. Another $1.35 million would go to housing projects, including new construction and rehabilitation efforts.
...

But the draft is a good place to start. It proposes five “bold ideas”:

▪ Creating or preserving 5,000 housing units during the next five years

▪ Creating a $75 million fund for housing construction and rehabilitation

▪ Adjusting regulations and incentives to encourage home construction

▪ Targeting four neighborhoods for “holistic” housing improvements

▪ Creating a tenant-landlord “university” to improve relationships for renters
...
https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/edit ... Ul-sRQDX_Y

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:44 pm

There needs to be some standards for what type of housing is done on the east side. There have been developments around the old Memorial Stadium site that look like Blue Springs or 1980s Raytown, ranches and split levels with garage dominant fronts. It will never work to infill historic homes in the area with that type of stock.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:17 pm

Image

beautyfromashes, in the photo above you can see the result of this practice. On stretches that once had 11 houses, you now see five or six. This practice even further reduces the density we once had. Combine that with demographic changes. Those tightly-spaced houses might have had six people living in them 60 years ago. Now they might have half that. Be reminded that about 40 percent of all households in KCMO now have a single person. So the city become less dense with each passing year. Our newer suburban neighborhoods aren't being built as densely as the older ones, so it's going to be infrastructure funding nightmare in about 100 years--probably sooner--if we continue the way we are.

Affordable housing should also include domiciles with smaller sq. footage. One of the primary expenses of concern to low-income residents are utilities. Shared-wall structures are more energy-efficient, since two walls usually have no surface exposure. The thermal massing of attached housing results in lower utility bills.

Another thing to consider about lot size. It's just not that replacement houses sit on bigger lots--adding to the expense of creating housing, and the city's operating costs. Many low-income residents who rent and buy houses still have to mow the yard. This is a small, but added expense. Some pay others--especially renters. In the summer months, that's at least $25 a week,and that's for a small yard. The larger yards are more. Even some Habitat for Humanity houses are built on parcels that used to have two houses. When you are talking about people living from paycheck-to-paycheck. you need to consider all monthly expenses they may have. Big yards also become a burden to older residents as it becomes harder for them to maintain yards, and they too must pay someone else to do it while also being on fixed incomes.

I have a disabled cousin who lives in a Habitat House. Having to pay out $100 a month just to have the yard mowed is a economic burden. She is getting off cheap because her house sits where two houses used to be, and has a large yard. The neighbor who mows her yard is an addict who does it cheap just to get some cash for booze.

Many people don't desire yards. People in dense cities live without them, and don't miss them. Some residents might be better served with houses built up to the sidewalk with a nice front porch, and then have a cobblestone courtyard in the back of the dwelling as their private space. No yard to mow. If you take walks down many neighborhood alleys, you will see how unused a lot of back yards are. I hardly ever see my neighbors using their back yards. One lets his poodles out to pee in his. That's about it.

The Habitat organization is not doing low-income homeowners any favors putting housse on large lots. I have noticed a couple of other things they are doing. They are now building larger-sized one-story houses with big sq. foot roofs. If you are concerned with keeping houses affordable, build two-story houses with 750 sq. foot roof instead of a 1500 sq. foot roof over one-story. Many Habitat homeowners are going to have a hard time affording to replace a roof to begin with, and doubling the size of the roof is not doing them any favors. Roofs also absorb the hot sun, so doubling the surface area only heats up the house more in summer. A big roof would only be an advantage with if you covered it with more solar panels than are required to power the house and sell the extra energy. Highly unlikely for affordable homes.

Even better would be to put half the square footage in the basement instead of a second story, and still keep the roof small. That would also keep utility bills lower.

This image below illustrates my point. These two houses have almost the exact square footage, but notice how much smaller the roof size is. Roofers quote replacement cost on sq. footage for materials and estimated time to do it. The newer house's roof is about twice the size. The difference in cost to replace might be several thousand. Add financing costs because it's highly doubtful that low-income residents will have the cash saved. So you are paying more because of increased size of the roof, and also having to pay more to finance the larger roof cost. These are things I wonder are being considered when Habitat is considering affordability of their efforts.

Image

The sq. footage of the older house appears to be spread over three levels, including a basement level. If the older house was insulated as well as the newer one, I'd be interested to see the utility bills for the older house to see if it is actually cheaper to heat and cool it because part of the house is underground and because it has less roof surface to absorb heat int the hot summer months.

My cousin lives next to another Habitat house, and both struggle to pay bills and feed their children. An extra $100 a month would make a big difference to them, since both already struggle even with food stamps. Her neighbor works full-time.

The reason I worry about long-term costs for Habitat residents is that the roofing shingles they have donated are the cheapest ones. My cousin has lived in her house for 8 years since it was finished, and the house inspector for her insurance company told her that she needed a new roof already. That it was already showing signs of failure. Some of her siding also fell off. She has no ability to save money to replace the roof. I worry that at some point, after some mold damage, she will have to abandon the house.

Her house also has an electric furnace and water heater, which are more expensive to operate than gas. Her house has central A/C, but she can't really afford to run it except when it gets really hot.

I don't think these houses are well-built and many struggle to make these types of repairs later. Her refrigerator failed at year six, and she had just bought a week's supply of groceries--all lost. She didn't have the money to buy a new refrigerator, or groceries. A long-time friend took pity on her and bought her a new refrigerator. She has two bathrooms, and she can't use the sink in one of them because of a leak. She doesn't have the extra money to call a plumber, so doesn't use it. That happened by year two. There was another appliance failure. I can't remember if it was the dishwasher or water heater. She moved into her house about the same time I bought mine, and I haven't had any of the failures she has, and my appliances are all older.

In hindsight, I think it was a mistake that she did the Habitat thing. She should have just stayed in subsidized public housing. At least there she didn't have the constant worries of replacing the roof, siding, and appliance failure. Sometimes I think this idea that every American should own their own home, combined with Habitat's good intentions, leads people down a path they shouldn't go. I may be wrong about that. However, after hearing her complain for 8 years, I don't think she has any business owning a home. I can only imagine what will happen when the furnace need to be replaced. I expect she'll get to the point she can't pay for something to keep the house habitable, and she'll just walk away. The only problem is that there's a waiting list to get back on subsidized housing.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by flyingember » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:46 am

FangKC wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:17 pm
beautyfromashes, in the photo above you can see the result of this practice. On stretches that once had 11 houses, you now see five or six.
Your first image example, your commentary is wrong.

Of the five homes, three are more than 100 years old. It's been at that density level for over a century.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by flyingember » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:51 am

Her house also has an electric furnace and water heater, which are more expensive to operate than gas. Her house has central A/C, but she can't really afford to run it except when it gets really hot.
I would be surprised if electric heat wasn't the right choice.

Just to have gas service is around $240 per year, before using any gas. That could be two months of electric service.
The electric company usually gives a discount for owning a heat pump, so a gas furnace would mean their electric bill goes up slightly.
An electric furnace can cost much less to buy
An electric furnace can last 50% longer.
They're cheaper to install because you don't need a plumber to work on the gas line. I've seen stories where a furnace goes out and they won't replace without replacing the gas pipe first.


It does cost more to use an electric furnace, they absolutely run harder in winter, but it's possible this is the better choice for overall cost.

We have a combo heat pump + gas unit and our home heats better forcing it to use gas (it doesn't like to auto-switch for some reason) but I don't think it's cheaper to run this way.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:48 pm

Our houses are about the same size: 1025 versus 1045 sq. ft. Mine was built in 1949. Her's in 2009. Her electric bill in winter is more than my gas and electric combined. I keep my house at 74 degrees year-round. She keeps her's cooler in winter because she can't afford to set her thermostat higher. She doesn't run her AC all the time in the summer--only on really hot days. Her electric bill runs almost as high as mine in the summer, and I'm running my AC all the time. She uses window fans. I'm assuming her electric water heater usage keeps her bills high in summer--even though she's not using her AC. I do have a central air heat pump that is more efficient than a traditional central air/furnace combo unit. I also have a high-efficiency furnace.

I'm comfortable in my house. She complains about being cold in winter, hot in summer. My utility bills are less. I have an older house as well.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by beautyfromashes » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:09 pm

Most efficient heating method is hot water radiators, especially if you have a high efficiency quick heat boiler. That and in floor radiant heat is the norm in Europe. Not exactly sure why it’s gone out of vogue in America. Electric heat is the least efficient because you have the large amount of power to create heat through the coil and the electricity to push the blower fan.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:35 pm

Why affordable housing is scarce in progressive cities
“So many cities are seeing long-standing pro-ownership policies come face to face with growth,” he says. “It’s challenging their progressive cred. If you drive a Prius and recycle, yet don’t allow apartments to be built, and then force people to drive 50 miles each way to work and cause all that pollution, you can’t say ‘out of sight, out of mind.’”
https://tinyurl.com/y9ynj5zg

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Fri Nov 23, 2018 5:37 pm

Senior housing: Older Americans face affordability, accessibility challenges

Harvard’s latest senior housing report highlights a lack of diverse options as nation’s population ages
...
Overall, the number of very low-income, housing burdened seniors has increased. According to HUD data, the number of Americans 62 or older with severe housing cost burdens, defined as spending half their income or more on housing, rose from 1.5 to 1.9 million between 2013 and 2015. Only one in three of these households received housing assistance. Most of the 43 overall growth in older renters since 2016 has been among households earning under $30,000 a year, reflecting the long-term damage of the foreclosure crisis, as well as the aging of low-income renters.

The spillover effects on this population are severe. The Consumer Expenditure Survey found that severely cost-burdened older households spent 53 percent less on food and 70 percent less on healthcare, and older renters are much more likely to live alone as they age.
...
https://www.curbed.com/2018/11/14/18095 ... ard-report
Last edited by FangKC on Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by beautyfromashes » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:16 pm

^ But, isn’t that supposed to be the point of retirement, you save money your whole life and have the same lifestyle as a senior while not making as much income? I guess I’m not too surprised by the article.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:38 am

FangKC wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:48 pm
Our houses are about the same size: 1025 versus 1045 sq. ft. Mine was built in 1949. Her's in 2009. Her electric bill in winter is more than my gas and electric combined. I keep my house at 74 degrees year-round. She keeps her's cooler in winter because she can't afford to set her thermostat higher. She doesn't run her AC all the time in the summer--only on really hot days. Her electric bill runs almost as high as mine in the summer, and I'm running my AC all the time. She uses window fans. I'm assuming her electric water heater usage keeps her bills high in summer--even though she's not using her AC. I do have a central air heat pump that is more efficient than a traditional central air/furnace combo unit. I also have a high-efficiency furnace.

I'm comfortable in my house. She complains about being cold in winter, hot in summer. My utility bills are less. I have an older house as well.
There are so many more variables than gas vs electricity. Insulation and weather proofing are as important if not more important than the power source for heating and cooling. Even though her house was built in 2009 her insulation and weather proofing may be at the bare minimum with the minimum efficiency heating and cooling units. So your advantages of your HVAC choices may just give you additional advantages.
And one of the disadvantages of only running the AC on only hot days during the summer is it takes longer to cool the house down and keep it cool because of the build-up of heat in the walls, ceilings and flooring as well as the humidity.

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Re: Affordable Housing

Post by FangKC » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:48 pm

Yes. That is why I brought up the issue of long-term affordability of Habitat houses. Things aren't really thought-through when it comes to things like utilities; having to pay to have the yard mowed. Having a roof that is twice the size for the same sq. footage (see example above) is not efficient--especially if the attic is not well insulated. You are just exposing more surface to cold and heat. A roof that wears out at 10 years, that they cannot afford to replace.

You are not helping low income people if the housing for them isn't energy efficient. If the bill is too high, it affects whether they have enough food to get through the entire month. Often they eat only once a day, or go without eating some days entirely. Even people who get food stamps, and visit food banks, still run low, or out, of food towards the end of the month.

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