Do you expect more or fewer affordable housing units to start construction in 2024? And, why?
In general, most likely less starts in 2024 due to the reduction of one-time money that was available during the pandemic, the increase in construction costs and operating costs at properties, and the continuation of higher interest rates.
What are your expectations for interest rates and overall financing conditions in 2024?
In California, we anticipate there being less funding available due to a budget shortfall at the state level, as well as a reduced amount of federal funds that were available during the pandemic period. We anticipate the interest rates will stabilize with hopes they will start to come down by the end of the year.
Biggest threat to affordable housing?
The biggest threat continues to be the lack of understanding by the public and our elected officials as to the importance of families, seniors, and those with special needs having access to safe, affordable housing in all cities.
Our biggest opportunity for 2024 is to showcase the properties that will be opening, as well as increase our skills at storytelling, as an industry. We need to improve our skills at telling the heartfelt stories and life-changing experiences that are a result of creating affordable housing. And we need to reestablish the fact that health and success are tied directly to housing. We must think of education and housing, health care and housing, economic development and housing. Affordable housing has ripple effects on our communities.
What is your firm preparing for this year?
We have a dozen grand openings and groundbreakings scheduled. We plan to invite the media and local community to see the benefits and ripple effect that these affordable housing developments will have for the residents and the broader surrounding community. This includes stabilizing our lower-income workforce, which generates true economic development and growth for cities.
Trend to watch in 2024?
A broader realization that having a full spectrum of housing availability is the solution to stabilizing communities and local economies. It’s the key to creating strong communities that are stable, vibrant, and well-rounded.