On April 24, 2003, Neighborhood Reinvestment hosted the fourth national symposium on multifamily excellence, The Vitality of America's Working Neighborhoods: Meeting the Local Challenges to Multifamily Housing, in Chicago, Illinois. Organized by NeighborWorks Multifamily Initiative, this symposium brought together national leaders from across the field with experienced practitioners and local leaders to examine the challenge of creating healthy neighborhoods whild ensuring that all Americans, expecially low-income families, coud afford to live in them.
Studies show that mixed-income communities are more sustainable than communities of concentrated poverty. Therefore, we sought to explore how mixed- income communities perform over time -- and how we could support more of these communities. In collaboration with Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS), Neighborhood Reinvestment is honored to publish the summation of its findings along with Ellen Seidman's synopsis of the symposium where the research was first presented.
Symposium partricipants heard the research and explored this challenge: How can local jurisdictions find and support a balance of affordability, while ensuring the long term value and health of their neighborhoods? If we don't want concentrated poverty, then Americans who are living on low incomes must be able to find homes they can afford in healthy communities. Yet, neighbors often resist "affordable housing," fearing it will "bring crime, harm schools, or reduce property values."
We found many communities throughout the country that successfully balance the ownership and rental challenge by developing public tools that creatively address this issue.