Our society is divided based on social and economic status, seen through the homes we live. Some families have the luxury to spend more on homes while others do not have a choice due to financial disabilities. Apart from food, another basic human need is a shelter. All families should be living in affordable houses as it is essential for our well-being. Affordable housing is also critical to the economic vitality of communities.
What is Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing does not mean free homes given to the homeless. Affordable housing does not cost that much and allows families to meet other basic needs sustainably. These are homes made in a sustainable cheaper way and then set free on the market at a low rental price or for sale below average market price. Affordable homes can also be made possible by communities working together which cuts out the developers, leading to significantly lower cost.
Why is Affordable Housing Beneficial?
– Children who live in stable housing tend to thrive in school and receive better nutrition.
– Less stress due to less rental expense.
– Funds within a tight budget get free for health care, food or other needs.
– It is an attraction for new workers, where they can settle.
– Employers have competitive advantages.
– Less air pollution due to the local workforce who can live closer to their jobs.
– Families get to spend more time together due to parents being able to live closer to work.
– Economic growth, vitality, and the community get stimulated.
Types of Affordable Housing
– Affordable housing, public gardens for a particular community, civic buildings, commercial buildings and other beneficial resources for a desirable community can be made possible through a community land trust.
– Co-living is when a home gets shared by two families. Privacy can be kept at some level as each family would have their section of the house, but share parts of the home like the living room, kitchen or garden. Families that choose this form of lifestyle, usually have the same interest and intentions. This new co-living tends to be urban and integrated into a single building, house, or apartment.
– Public housing serves millions of middle and low-income families successfully in Europe. Public housing is owned by a government authority, which may be central or local. Families who do not earn enough to take care of all their needs, older people, and people with disabilities might be eligible to receive such housing. These housing is in the form of rentals at a low price and is seen to be safe and decent. The sizes and types of public houses vary, from single family houses which are spread out in one area to buildings for older people.
– The tiny house movement means, living in smaller homes or better yet, living simply in small homes. These Tiny homes are seen as affordable housing for those who can live in small spaces because small homes are less expensive and more energy-efficient. Other examples of small homes can be cottages, shipping containers, and mobile homes.
– An accessory dwelling unit is a separate construction on the same grounds of a regular single-family house, or it might even be attached to the home itself. This can be in the form of an apartment over the garage, a tiny house in the backyard or a basement apartment. This is usually an excellent choice for younger single people or a senior citizen because they benefit from paying a small rental fee and the homeowner gets to receive a little extra income each month.
– Housing cooperatives get formed when residents own and manage a property together. Members can save on the purchase cost as well as on expenses such as utilities and Wi-Fi. These housing coops can come in all sizes.
How Energy Efficient Buildings Reduce Bills
Living in an affordable home is one way to improve a bad financial situation, but residing in an energy efficient building can help you improve your lifestyle financially in the long run. If it was possible to take the money spent on the electricity bills each month and save it towards something we want or need, imagine the amount that can save up and how that will improve our lifestyle. Energy Efficient constructions consist of energy efficient strategies and products that reduce the energy consumption of the building. Insulation, energy star appliances, green roofs or solar roof installations and Eco-friendly materials are just a couple of examples of ways to make a home more energy efficient. The type of Eco-friendly building or applications will determine the amount of energy the buildings use which can range from very little power consumption to zero conventional energy used. It is evident that the less energy your home uses, the less your electricity bill will be at the end of the month. Not only do green buildings reduce bills each month, but they also reduce greenhouse gas emission and provide one with healthier living conditions.
Affordable Housing in Nevada
Finding affordable housing in Las Vegas, it can be more of a challenging situation. When one is looking for affordable housing, one should find a home where you do not pay more than 30% of one’s income towards rent. As rental rates are going up, the waiting list for quality affordable homes is getting longer. Unfortunately, in Las Vegas’the shortage of affordable housing is seen as the worst in the country. There is some hope however, with affordable housing programs like the ones developed by the HUD which are available to help qualified residents find affordable housing in their area.
These are just a couple of ways to make affordable housing possible in your community. Living in reasonably priced homes and a sustainable lifestyle can cut most of the stress that comes with our busy lifestyle, and it can help to create stability in your life. Affordable housing can be made possible for everyone if we stand together as a community and work on a solution. Two heads are better than one.
Written by: Matt Reilly
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