5.06.2009

Affordable Homes in Pennsylvania


As noted in a previous post, I had the honor of participating in Housing Matters Day, organized by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania to shed light on the importance and necessity of affordable homes. Here are my written comments from the press conference portion of the festivities.



In addition to the direct benefits enjoyed by new residents, it is important to note that investing in improving the efficiency of our housing stock is an effective form of economic stimulus, which is obviously an important consideration these days.

Specifically, our analysis estimates that each ten million dollars invested in a Pennsylvania Housing Trust Fund would generate 16 to 22 million dollars in total expenditures within the Commonwealth, as well as hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in wages, in a variety of industries.

Rehabilitating homes is particularly potent, in that it produces more houses per million dollars, and also has a greater statewide multiplier effect.

Combined with the leveraging of other public dollars plus private dollars, this all could have an even more potent effect.

Importantly, the savings associated with both reduced housing payments, as well as lower energy costs as a result of more efficient housing are also stimulative, in that the savings go right into peoples' pockets and can therefore be spent locally.

Finally, the economic literature also suggests there's a huge positive spillover effect associated with reducing foreclosures and the destabilizing effect they can have on communities.

In other words, when you invest in improving the efficiency of our housing stock, new residents win, neighborhoods win, and the Commonwealth wins.
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