New Research Emphasizes Importance of Small and Medium Multifamily Housing

A new report released on March 30 by Enterprise Community Partners and the University of Southern California (USC) Bedrosian Center on Governance, housed at the USC Price School of Public Policy, finds that small and medium multifamily housing (SMMF) – properties with between two and 49 units – is a much more important source of homes than has generally been recognized, especially for low-income households. The paper, Understanding the Small and Medium Multifamily Housing Stock, shows that SMMF provides homes to the lowest-income households, including for the majority of renters earning $50,000 or below and for 60 percent of all renters who make less than $10,000 per year. However, according to Andrew Jakabovics, vice president of policy development and research at Enterprise and one of the authors of the paper, there are significant regulatory costs to building multifamily housing, and developers that do win approval want to build more than just a few apartments.

The report concludes that policymakers should prioritize the development of financial tools to preserve SMMF and reduce barriers to production of new SMMF to help ease growing housing affordability challenges in the U.S. See more coverage of the report in Bloomberg and Affordable Housing Finance.

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