By the year 2020, almost all of the affordable housing units created by Sections 221(d)(3) and 226 of the Housing Act of 1937 could disappear. These units were created in the late 1960s in an effort to draw more private equity to the affordable housing market. The federal government entered into contracts with developers, exchanging mortgage subsidies and insurance for affordability clauses in the developers’ mortgages that required a certain percentage of their developments be kept for affordable housing for the life of the mortgage. These mortgages were set for a term of forty years. The country is now faced with an unprecedented housing crisis as these mortgages reach their maturity mark. Unfortunately, the federal government lacks the funding and political will to pass the necessary legislation to protect the current stock of affordable housing. Furthermore, only a handful of states have taken the lead in efforts to preserve affordability through new laws that impose notice requirements on owners of developments reaching maturity, and afford rights of first offer and first refusal to local housing authorities so that they may purchase these properties to retain affordability. This Note argues that more states should adopt such laws to ensure that the tens of thousands of families who are bound to lose their subsidized housing are provided reasonable protections.
Kaitlin J. Brown,
A Dangerous Disappearing Act: Preserving Affordable Housing in the Face of Maturing Mortgages,
B.C.J.L. & Soc. Just.