The preservation of affordable housing plays a positive role socially, culturally and economically. It preserves diversity and protects the lives of tenants in rapidly gentrifying areas in cities across the country. When the influx of affluent, educated professionals drives rent up, the working class is often forced out of the previously affordable neighborhoods. This can be detrimental to quality of life for people of all incomes.

The availability of affordable housing allows working class people to live close to their jobs instead of wasting time on a long commute. This both reduces their commuting costs and lets them put more time and energy into their work, increasing productivity. Increased productivity strengthens the economy for us all.

In up-and-coming neighborhoods, the preservation of affordable housing is even more critical: it conserves culture diversity, allowing local residents whose lives and heritage have been rooted in these neighborhoods for multiple generations to stay. Local restaurants, ethnic art and music can not only remain but also prosper. They are what make a neighborhood unique, attractive for old and new tenants, and culturally invaluable.

The preservation of affordable housing also maintains the balance of an ecosystem – a society of unsegregated income groups. Just as we have been fighting racial segregation throughout history, the preservation of affordable housing is a tool to help fight income segregation. This is because the rich and even the middle class rely heavily on the working class to educate their children, safeguard the streets, provide medical care, build their homes and streets, etc. The working class relies on the rich for the provision of jobs in the service industry and investment into their communities. The truth is a healthy blend of low, moderate, and high income is necessary for a healthy community to flourish. Thus for areas going under rapid gentrification, it is very important to understand the role of the preservation of affordable housing.


Image source: