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Housing Solutions
Rental Housing Preservation

Publications in this section highlight tools and strategies for addressing housing affordability challenges in your community.  The Center’s housing solutions resources cover a broad range of topics – from state and local policies to preserve and expand the supply of affordable homes to efforts to meet the housing needs of older adults or families in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.

Feb 21, 2013

Comparing the Costs of New Construction and Acquisition-Rehab In Affordable Multifamily Rental Housing

Maya Brennan, Amy Deora, Anker Heegaard, Albert Lee, Jeffrey Lubell, Charlie Wilkins

This research working paper uses the lifecycle cost methodology to compare the total cost of developing and maintaining multifamily affordable rental housing over a 50-year period using either acquisition-rehab or new construction. Our analysis of a convenience sample of more than 200 properties found that, all else equal, new construction added approximately $40,000 to $71,000 (25 to 45 percent) per-unit to the lifecycle costs.   

This paper is part of a suite of materials exploring lifecycle underwriting, including an online tool and two additional working papers.

View suite of materials

[view the publication]

Keywords: Preservation, Lifecycle Underwriting, Multifamily Rental

Feb 21, 2013

Lifecycle Underwriting

Maya Brennan, Amy Deora, Ethan Handelman, Anker Heegaard, Albert Lee, Jeffrey Lubell, Charlie Wilkins

Lifecycle underwriting represents a new way of thinking about the costs of multifamily affordable housing. A policy working paper explores the policy and practical implications of lifecycle underwriting and opens up a debate about the trade-offs of financing properties for a 50-year viability period, rather than the more typical 15-year time frame.

The suite of materials also includes L-Cycle, a free tool that enables users to estimate whether a property is likely to have sufficient funds to meet expected capital needs over a full 50-year lifecycle. 

[view the suite of materials]

[view the publication]

Keywords: Lifecycle Underwriting, long-term affordability, Multifamily Rental

Sep 30, 2010

Insights from Housing Policy Research: Rental Housing Affordability – A Review of Current Research

Rebecca Cohen, Keith Wardrip, Laura Williams

This brief looks at recent trends among renters and in the rental market, drawing from research conducted with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation by the Center for Housing Policy, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition.Findings from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s report on “worst-case needs” households are also discussed.

Taken together, the reports point to a growing demand for affordable rental homes, a shrinking and at-risk affordable rental stock, and an increase in the number of renters that have difficulty affording their monthly housing costs.

[view the publication]

Feb 1, 2009

Insights_Taking Stock - the Role of Preservation Inventories in Preserving Affordable Rental Housing

Center for Housing Policy

Part of a series of research briefs highlighting the findings and policy implications of housing policy research, this brief examines how data analysis is helping states and localities to preserve the stock of affordable rental housing.

[view the publication]