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pyper

"Mixed Income" residential

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I've seen a number of apartments, and some for sale properties, in cities around the South, that are promoted (or not) as mixed income. That is, some of the units are subsidized, with restricted rents and income limits, and some of the units are upscale. The idea seems to be that poor people need roll models who aren't.

I'm wondering how good an idea this is though. Will "upscale" tenants desire to pay upscale rents to live with poor people? Will poor people desire to live with upper income people?

To be specific, I'm seeing rent spreads like $300 / $1,200.

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That is a pretty extreme rent spread that I can't perceive to be realistically competitive. They may be in the same complex, but there is certainly a difference in the units. I would say that at $300 a month that these units are public housing, as the tax-credits offered to developers to provide affordable units would not be able to offset that kind of revenue differential.

Do I think they're a good idea? Sure, as long as the mix is correct. I don't think that any complex can survive as "upscale" with more than 20% of its patrons making less than 60% of the AMI, and also capping the number of "low-income" households to less than 40 or so units per community.

Distributing poverty is one of the best ways to eliminate crime hot spots.

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Plenty of large apartment buildings in New York City are 80/20 buildings, with 20% of the units rent-subsidized for people earning below certain income levels. Lots of people live in them; I did. I would not buy a place in a mixed-income development, though, if there is an alternative that, all other things being equal, is substantially the same.

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I know one of the big pushes in resendential development in my town is to have "mixed income" groups in the same area. IE, single family homes next to apartments next to condos etc where several price points are in the area. I do think it's good to mix it up where you don't end up with one part of town where all of one class type lives. Social engineering? Maybe, time will tell if the market will let it work.

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True social engineering was the construction of those monstrous, brutalist public housing projects that sought to warehouse and quarantine the poor in inner cities in the 60's and 70's. Oh but we're told that people simply desire to live amongst those who look like themselves. :rolleyes:

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I've seen a number of apartments, and some for sale properties, in cities around the South, that are promoted (or not) as mixed income. That is, some of the units are subsidized, with restricted rents and income limits, and some of the units are upscale. The idea seems to be that poor people need roll models who aren't.

I'm wondering how good an idea this is though. Will "upscale" tenants desire to pay upscale rents to live with poor people? Will poor people desire to live with upper income people?

To be specific, I'm seeing rent spreads like $300 / $1,200.

There's a residential project in Little Rock called Block 2 Lofts that was opened around 5 years ago that was a conversion of three early 1900s warehouses (8,9, and 4 stories) to lofts with ground floor retail. For funding reasons the developers chose to turn this into a mixed income project. Rents are very similar to the ones you mention. It's been a real problem as the low income tenants have been running down the building, leaving junk in the halls, and the young professionals that originally moved into the building are being run off. It's actually been one of the biggest disappointments in what has otherwise been a downtown Renaissance. Now a local billionaire investor wants to buy the property and fix the problems but apparently the federal housing assistance requirement lasts 30 years and is transferred to any new buyers. It's a real mess.

On the other hand, I know of at least 2 mixed income federally assisted apartment complexes that were more traditional that worked very well. One replaced the city's worst housing project and turned it into a much safer and more attractive area. Unsubsidized rents were well below what you're talking about, though.

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