The affordable housing industry in New York state creates 31,800 jobs during construction and sustains 5,650 permanent jobs each year, according to a recent study.

Uncovering the economic benefits of affordable housing, the study reveals that the industry leverages approximately $1.10 in private investment for every dollar of public investment each year.  The affordable housing sector also generates about $2.6 billion in economic spinoff activity during construction while sustaining $650 million in annual economic spending on local goods and services and building maintenance.

Released by the New York State Association for Affordable Housing and HR&A Advisors, the study makes the case for affordable housing as an economic engine.

“The findings of this report regarding the significance of the affordable housing industry to the state of New York should come as no surprise,” said Darryl C. Towns, commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), in a statement. “Investment in affordable housing development promotes economic expansion, generates meaningful and long-lasting employment, creates opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses, and provides safe and decent homes to families throughout New York state.”

The findings are significant, coming at a time when government budgets face cuts and housing programs are under increased scrutiny.

They also come at a time of growing need. “Economic Impacts of Affordable Housing on New York State’s Economy” points out that New York City households paying more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent rose from 41 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2009.

On average, 18,490 affordable housing units, including new construction, rehab, and preservation units, are generated statewide each year. Of that total, 15,526 are in New York City.

An average 100-unit project in the state generates:

  • 175 jobs during construction and sustains 20 jobs permanent permanently;
  • $9.6 million in compensation during construction, sustaining $1.3 million in compensation annually;
  • $29.6 million in economic spending during construction, including $15.5 million of public and private investment in development, and $14.1 million in economic spinoff activity, including spending on materials and services; and
  • $3.6 million in ongoing economic activity annually.