"Everyone rowed together," says Likes. "The industry is full of good people, the owners and managers in this country who care deeply and have worked hard to help."
CLEVELAND – “The country was acute affordable housing Crisis for years and it continues to deteriorate “So it says Rob likes, National Director, KeyBank Community Development Lending & Investment (CDLI).
This dire situation was of course exacerbated by this year's unemployment tide caused by the pandemic. And yet Likes has reason to be hopeful. But first the bad news:
"Of all tenant households," he says, "around half are cost-burdened, which means that they pay more than 30 percent of their income to build their homes." And of these, around half are heavily costly and pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing. “With around 45 million people who have applied for unemployment insurance since the COVID-19 success, those numbers have just exploded.
Low-income home tax credits have been the long-term driver of development and maintenance for the sector, but given the shaky nature of the economy, fewer investors and developers are delving into this rock bottom, Likes says. "There is no doubt that pricing has been hurt, largely because many investors are on the sidelines and unwilling or unable to pay what they used to do because they are unsure of how much their winnings will be. "
The result is that developers not only have to slow down the pace of projects, they also have to look for other sources of capital to "fill those gaps". One possible source, local government incentives, has been washed away by budget cuts, he adds.
Now for the good news.
According to a recent report from Cushman & Wakefield, the global recovery has turned a corner since mid-spring, although growth will continue to be below average.
Indeed. “Activity seems to be picking up,” says Likes, “and we're seeing early indicators of a turnaround like tax credit pricing. While we're not out of the woods, we're seeing a slow rise in the number of deals and certainly more interest in the industry as a whole . "
The other good news comes in the unwavering voice of advocacy for affordable housing. "Everyone rowed together," he says. "The industry is full of good people, the owners and managers in this country who care and have worked hard to help, be it through rent payment plans or helping residents get jobs or get unemployment insurance . "
He adds that the voices of industry associations, the Institute of Real Estate Management, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, to name just three, have consistently used Congress for greater relief.
Is that enough? No. Will it solve the affordable housing issue beyond the COVID era (whenever possible)? Of course not.
"We're monitoring the problem very closely," says Likes. In the midst of the economic roller coaster we all ride, that constant voice and unwavering advocacy will ultimately be the driving force that will help improve bottom line. And as Likes concludes: "Any compassionate awareness of the situation is a step in the right direction."