Affordable housing developments are associated with a small but statistically significant increase in nearby property values in Alexandria, Virginia, according to new research from the Urban Institute.
“This should ease residents’ concerns about their impact on neighborhoods and bolster support for increased development,” say Christina Plerhoples Stacy, principal research associate, and Christopher Davis, data scientist, both with the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center.
For their analysis, the researchers dug into Zillow’s assessor and real estate database to estimate the relationship between affordable housing developments and the sales prices of nearby single-family homes, duplexes, cooperatives, and residential condominiums between 2000 and 2020.
They found that affordable housing units in Alexandria are associated with an increase in property values of 0.09% within one-sixteenth of a mile of a development on average. That’s a distance that’s comparable with a typical urban block.
“This effect is statistically significant at the 1% level, roughly meaning that there is a 99% chance of a positive value,” says the report.
The findings are important because affordable housing often faces opposition from residents concerned that the developments will depress their own property values.
“Given the known benefits of affordable housing on housing stability, access to opportunity, the economy as a whole, and the overall health of households with low incomes, these results support the development of additional affordable housing in the city of Alexandria,” concludes the report.