Updated: Mar 8
Demystifying Affordable Housing Stereotypes…
There are many misconceptions surrounding affordable housing. Social ills, crime, and dingy apartments are frequently associated with affordability. The Truth is that affordable housing provides an incredible opportunity for singles, couples, and families to rent their very own place that also suits their pocket! It is something I like to call “smart renting.”
Before we get to the smart way to rent an apartment you can afford, it is important to understand what affordable housing really means.
What is the Definition of Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing across the US is defined as housing that can be afforded by a household with funds left to cover basic expenses including food, medical care, and daily transport. According to the federal government, housing is considered affordable when it costs less than 30% of household income.
If your salary falls within the housing affordability index, you may qualify for a cost-effective rental. The good news is the ability to start working on a budget. When you can afford your rent, you have the chance to save for a rainy day, to purchase that new car you’ve set your sights on, or you can save for a future property investment.
Affordable housing is a smart choice because it helps you do more with your money. It provides security and fosters independence.
What is the Smart Way to Rent an Apartment?
When you find yourself scraping your pennies to cover the monthly rent, what are you saving for?
Most of us recognized the American Dream as owning our very own home but if you fall into the average or below average income bracket, then will owning your own property ever become a reality?
If you’re earning $12-$16 an hour, you can save towards that American Dream and it starts with the smart way to rent an apartment. Being smart about what you can afford on a rental, whether a single bedroom or starter home, makes all the difference. By examining your income and essential expenses, you can determine what you can comfortably contribute towards rent and still have some funds over to save for a personal goal.
Homes that you can afford are available with fantastic features such as round the clock security, spacious living, and friendly neighborhoods, you just need to know where to look to find them. The second chance apartment is a great example of affordable housing. Along with the immense savings on rent, it is also an option for those with bad credit, prior bankruptcy, foreclosures, and factors that would otherwise make renting an apartment difficult. You can learn more about affordable apartments to rent by visiting second-chance renting made easy.
Why a Second Chance Apartment Rental?
Do you find yourself trying to save a dollar here and there on gas? Perhaps you enjoy a good deal and never miss out on ways you can save on your everyday expenses or the latest iPhone! We’re all looking to save money but why don’t we look to save on our rent?
If you look at what you can afford on monthly rent for an apartment and you still splurge on a place that is out of your price range, it means there is little to no opportunity to build on what you really want or to make your own investment. With the option of second chance apartments, you can find an inviting and safe place to stay while affording your rent.
Let’s take a closer look at why there is much stereotyping and misconception surrounding affordable housing in the US.
What is the Biggest Misconception Surrounding Affordable Housing?
If you ask someone what their impression of affordable housing is, it may not always sound optimistic. Unfortunately, half-truths have created a misconception about what affordable housing really means. This also means that more people who would’ve benefited from lower rent, avoid affordable homes owing to misinformation.
A closer look at the myth vs the facts about affordable housing can help you make an informed future rental decision.
Affordable Housing Lowers the Value of the Neighboring Properties
Research shows that contemporary housing with a focus on affordable developments can significantly increase property value. Most new developments are designed to align with current property style trends and community lifestyle requirements. This contributes to an improvement in the value of the surrounding properties rather than a reduction.
Affordable Housing Increases Crime Rates
Affordable housing can create stable economies, retain hard-working tenants, and improve community cohesion. Families who rent affordable apartments desire a safe neighborhood where they can live, work, and raise their children.
Affordable Homes Mean Large Families That Will Negatively Impact Local Services and the Community Standard.
According to affordable housing statistics, the average-sized family in such homes are smaller than that of a single-family home. The benefit of affordable homes means that more people and their children can find a secure place to live, attend local schools, and invest in the quality of their education. Where rent cannot be afforded, many families have to constantly move, which means children get uprooted and their education and safety compromised. It simply leads to a generation where young ones cannot reach their fullest potential and contribute to the future economy.
Building Affordable Housing Will Cause Traffic Congestion
Most tenants who rent a cost-effective apartment use public transport especially those located close to the city center. There is also not a significant difference in the traffic rates across areas that include affordable properties to rent.
Why Affordable Housing is the Future?
A property, apartment, or complex is considered affordable when your income is sufficient to cover the daily expenses, the rent, and still have remaining funds in your account.
Forget about scraping by until your next paycheck! When you rent affordably, you rent smartly. This means more money in your account.
Affordable housing is also an incredible development that deters crime and encourages a sense of security for renters and their families.
Is Public Housing the Same as Affordable Housing?
Not quite. While public housing is also affordable, it is government subsidized. This means that houses and apartments are built specifically to accommodate the needs of individuals and families who ‘qualify’ or are on a waiting list to receive a home. These developments use public funding to provide qualifying persons with the chance to secure a home.
Affordable housing simply means that the income-expense ratio allows the individual to rent an apartment that fits within their budget. In this instance, it is not a subsidized property. It is actually hard-working individuals who earn a monthly income to pay for their rent and their necessities.
Are Affordable Housing and Section 8 the Same?
Section 8 housing holds tighter restrictions and requirements compared to general affordable tenancy and second chance apartments. Section 8 is a subsidized rental. It is based on how much you earn including deductions for personal expenses every month. In section 8 communities, the rent will differ between tenants depending on the average rental income and the needs of the community.
Affordable housing is available for persons of various income qualifications. As with second chance apartments, all applicants are screened prior to being offered a lease agreement. The criteria will include a look at your earnings and affordability, your tenancy history, and proof of employment. It is always a good idea to speak to your future landlord about standards to qualify for a home you can afford.
Is There a Difference Between Low Income and Affordable Housing?
You may have come across terms such as low-income housing and affordable housing, and wondered what the difference is?
For both low income and affordable housing, the landlord will issue a set of criteria that applicants must meet before a lease is considered. You can learn more about a lease agreement and what is covered in what is an apartment lease?
What is Low-Income Housing?
Low-income housing is considered as government-subsidized housing. This includes Section 8 and public housing. To qualify for Section 8 or a public housing rental, applicants are assigned to a program that is overseen by government housing departments.
For a Section 8 home, the family is provided a voucher to make up for the difference in their income and the cost for rent. Both low income and section 8 housing are based on qualifying criteria. For public housing, consultation with a local public housing office can help you find a cost-effective place to call your own.
The Benefits of Affordable Housing
Affordable housing opens a world of opportunity including economic and community benefits.
Affordable Homes are Always Rented
Many properties offering an affordable rental will have a waiting list to accommodate future tenants. These units tend to remain rented, which provides continued business for landlords and developers, but also offers qualifying tenants the security of a property.
As more people show interest in affordable housing, so are property developers. More contemporary and affordable housing projects mean higher investment opportunities and greater economies of scale. It is a rewarding solution to improving the value of neighborhoods and generating economical interest.
Second chance apartments are a great example of a close-knit community. Members tend to establish cohesiveness across complexes and develop a true sense of neighborly and welcoming attitudes.
How to Choose Affordable Housing such as a Rental Apartment?
If you are ready to rent your next apartment, it is important to perform some research into the properties available. Once you have determined what you can afford, the next step is to consider your lifestyle. If you work in the city center, will you have to travel far to reach your place of employment? For personal comfort, determine whether you prefer an open plan apartment, one or two-bedrooms and whether you would like to live in an upstairs or downstairs apartment.
With careful consideration of your living needs and your finances, you can find an amazing apartment!
How to Save for an Affordable Apartment?
If you have an average or lower income, you can rent an apartment with some smart saving. Even if you have bad credit, working on building your finances can deliver immense rewards. Research into the average spending habits of Americans shows just how the rising costs of education, housing, and general living have made it difficult for many to save for a rainy day. Fortunately, there are steps you can take today that will help you qualify for an affordable apartment.
Saving for an apartment means the B-word… You guessed it, Budget! Sitting down and looking at your income, your expenses, and where you can cut back can have a profound effect on your future rental options. By cutting back, I mean making a few sacrifices. Consider wants and needs. Expenses such as medical insurance, renters insurance, and food are must-haves but splurging on entertainment may be an area where you can recalculate your expenditure.
Simply putting a small amount into a savings account every month will help you in your financial endeavors.
You can also read 10 steps to financial stability to learn how you can improve your money management.
Who Qualifies for Affordable Housing?
As with any rental application, there is a set of criteria that every future tenant must adhere to. The affordable housing applications will differ between landlords.
If you are applying for a second chance rental, you can learn how to be approved for an apartment by checking the requirements issued by the landlord.
Second chance rentals should always be accompanied by personal documents especially if you have bad credit, a previous eviction, or criminal history. Proof that you are taking steps to manage your credit or presenting character testimony can all support your application.
Why Affordable Housing in the US?
Finding a home that you can afford, that suits your lifestyle, and that brings you comfort will bring you immense joy.
Affordable housing is an opportunity. It provides security and encourages independence and stability. With some research and knowledge, you can find contemporary apartment rentals including second chance apartments offering every comfort and practicality for every lifestyle.
While there are many misconceptions surrounding affordable housing, I hope that with some light shed on the myths and the facts, it can help you make the best possible decision for your rental needs and your financial future.