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Do We Need the Government to Solve Affordable Housing?

Understanding the market for your new project’s site is a constant concern. After all, renters have different wants and needs depending on where they live. Part of that relates to the amenities and their unit’s affordability. But that comes with another sub-set. Are we relying too much on our government to solve the legal affordable housing issue? And what would it mean if the city governments actually become landlords themselves?

Boise’s Ongoing Issue of Affordability

Affordability is technically determined by a Boisean’s income level. Their rent can’t exceed 30% of their household income, and there are legal definitions that keep these requirements in place. With today’s hourly wages, we might see a growing need for affordable housing units.

In mid-April 2021, the City of Boise announced that it would tear down the 1950s Fire Station 5 located on downtown’s 16th Street. The plan is to replace it with a more modern design to keep up with today’s seismic code and ADA standards. The new building’s expansion will include additional storage space and another room to manage vehicle repairs. But it comes with another update. An affordable housing development is set to be built over the existing parking lot on part of the fire station’s parcel.

Will Developers Be Able to Compete?

Although the city will continue to be the landowner, the development of this project will be handled by a private developer. Yet this raises some crucial questions. If the government is addressing the affordability problem with new builds of their own, private developers may start to miss out on key opportunities.

As rents continue to increase across the board, developers and investors will need new insights on how to adapt to these changes. This is where local knowledge really pays off. To learn more about the Boise market and the Treasure Valley as a whole, please don’t hesitate to send us a message. We'd be happy to touch base and continue the conversation.



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