A research paper, “The Impact of Affordable Housing on Communities and Households,” from our own Minnesota Housing Financing Agency, which oddly is providing at least $9 million in funding for the Pillsbury Commons housing project, provides some of the most damning evidence on why 100% low-income high-density housing projects are a bad idea.
On Page 3: “…research has found that high concentrations of affordable housing can have a negative impact on crime rates, while smaller scale and dispersed projects do not. ”
On Page 7: “There is also evidence suggesting that the relationship between project scale and property value could be curvilinear, meaning that property value impacts increase with project scale up to a certain threshold, beyond which impacts become increasingly negative as scale increases.”
On Page 4: “Multiple studies find that smaller projects (typically less than 50 units) have no impact on neighborhood crime, but that larger projects may result in increased crime.”
While the Center for Housing Policy could be considered biased as an affordable housing advocate it is very interesting that even they say in their report, “Don’t Put it Here! Does Affordable Housing Cause Nearby Property Values to Decline?” that the size of the development can negatively impact nearby property values:
Do impacts vary with the size of the affordable housing development or number of households?
Yes. Several researchers found that larger, more concentrated affordable housing developments were more likely than smaller developments to have a negative impact on nearby property values. For example, a 1993 study by Robert Lyons and Scott Loveridge of subsidized housing in Ramsey County, Minnesota, found substantial reductions in property values when the housing was clustered, as opposed to negligible effects when subsidized units were scattered throughout a neighborhood