A Qualitative Analysis of the Efficacious Benefits of Affordable Housing on Individuals and Society

Jeremiah Battle III

Abstract


Housing intersects many areas that affect the quality of people’s lives. Homes provide people with solitude, refuge, privacy, physical protection, and the ability to choose their living environments. The location of housing determines the services to which people will have access, the public schools which they will attend, and are often affiliated with a certain social status. The economic impacts of housing are significant for both individuals and society as a whole. Equity from housing accounts for the most widespread form of personal wealth; the housing industry accounts for more than one-fifth of the nation’s GDP. Consequently, the lack of access to affordable housing is a barrier and, in many cases, a prevention to upward mobility. The economic Rational Choice Theory states that individuals’ behavior in society reflects their desire to maximize their benefits and minimize their costs. While the benefits of affordable housing are vast, millions of people do not have access to it. The hypothesis tested is in this study is that people without affordable housing opportunities are at a significant economic and social disadvantage to homeowners and others who can choose where they want to live. Data were collected from public documents from government agencies as well as scholarly books and journals by using the document analysis technique. These data sources were supplemented by interviews with experts on the subject. The paper utilizes the qualitative case study approach to analyze various urban and rural areas of the country, as compared to the suburbs, to show how economic, educational and social disparities without affordable housing, as well as the benefits of specific cases of affordable housing, developed. [It should be noted here that this study is not an attempt at a meta-analysis of the available works on the topic.]

Keywords


Affordable Housing, Efficacious Benefits, Economic Impact

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