Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing is a Priority Concern for City Planners

When employees can’t find affordable housing (YVHA, 2023, p. 3):

  • Workforce declines or cannot grow to meet demand
  • Businesses are at risk of leaving the area or failing

In addition, social service agencies can fail to meet local needs:

  • Municipalities may begin to experience a shortage of teachers, nurses, police, and service industry workers
  • Nonprofits have reduced hours and services because they can’t hire workers

Homeowners Sharing Living Space Should Be Exempted From Some Regulations

Fair housing laws are important and necessary, however, they shouldn’t apply to every housing situation. Certainly someone renting a self-contained unit across town should be prevented from making a prejudiced renter selection. However, renting a room in one’s house is a different matter. For example, for safety concerns, if you have a teenage daughter you have good reason not to rent a room to a man who isn’t a relative. Airbnb rentals are one way around this, but Airbnb is set up for short term rentals. ICmatch is a different way to meet long-term demand for non-conventional rental situations. It makes use of the existing housing stock in the following ways:

  • Vulnerable elderly homeowners can find people they feel they can trust and rely on for help.
  • People who don’t rent at all, because they might have had a bad experience with renters who damaged their property or were inconsiderate, can select the characteristics of people they invite into their lockoff or extra space.
  • With a framing of community rather than purely transactional rentals, people don’t have to open their semi-private spaces to people whose lifestyle may clash with theirs.
  • Property owners can make more flexible and unconventional arrangements, such as accepting whole or partial payment in the form of building maintenance or upgrades.

Community Types Sought as Affordable Housing

Many single young adults have explored the following options for affordable housing.

Two of the family-oriented community types also focus on affordability.

Community Types: See other housing types that may be sought as affordable housing.

Rental housing: See the search tips page, which includes options for work trade for housing. See our guide for how to set up a shared rental house.

Changing housing policy: Get informed about how to work with city planners to allow for more helpful zoning and permitting.


Grants for affordable housing projects in the U.S.: This list can be searched by state. These grants or scholarships can be applied for by individuals. You do not need to have non-profit status or be under the umbrella of a government agency. We are working on further refining the list by topic.

As a resource for your grant writing, Angus Deaton makes a powerful case that elites have aggravated populism by neglecting struggling U.S. communities. Many favor giving aid to foreign nations, which aid he shows is often mis-spent. See also our discussion of economic disparity.