By Kim Hawtrey (auth.)
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Extra resources for Affordable Housing Finance
For cities to expand, the supply of land must not be artificially constrained. Land supply bottlenecks lead to increases in land prices and, since land is a major housing input, to increases in house prices. The more stringent the restrictions, the less the housing market is able to respond to increased demand and the more likely the house prices are to increase. And when residential land is very difficult to come by, housing becomes unaffordable. There is a body of empirical evidence to prove that placing restrictions on urban land supplies has led to serious house price escalation (Cox and Pavletich, 2009).
This makes it harder to qualify for, and service, a bank loan. So, in particular regions and demographic segments, housing affordability problems may actually be increasing, despite people being in “steady” employment, the so-called working poor. Government housing assistance policy is the third important factor in housing affordability. Traditionally, government policy has focussed on social welfare measures, in the form of subsidies paid directly to Housing Stress 23 households, such as rent assistance.
First, when housing adequacy is expressed using the term “affordable housing”, it implies that affordability is not a characteristic of housing per se, rather it is a “relationship between housing and people” (Stone, 2006a). Affordable housing is a three-dimensional notion, a triangulation that asks: affordable to whom, on what standard of affordability, and for how long? Further, argues Stone, while housing affordability is an indicator, affordable housing carries the connotation of a standard.