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Why is ‘Affordable Housing’ so Expensive to Build?

December 15, 2017

By David Taub :GVwire – excerpt

On a block dotted with blight and auto-related businesses, land at Blackstone and McKinley avenues in central Fresno soon could be transformed into an affordable housing complex.

Most of the cost of the project would be taxpayer funded. As a result, the $38 million project has some city leaders pondering its worth. City Council members will have an opportunity to weigh in on the pros and the cons at this week’s meeting on Thursday…

The math on the project is troubling to some councilmen. Eighty-eight units at $38 million averages $432,000 per unit to build.

“That just doesn’t make sense to me,” District 2 representative Steve Brandau said…

Buy Homes Instead?

Brandau has an alternative.

“At $435,000 per apartment unit, we could buy them a house in northwest Fresno; buy them a car and motorcycle and a year’s worth of groceries,” he said. “This is not a great use of taxpayers’ money.”

Prince and Lingo agree that buying and rehabbing units is a great idea—if state leaders want to go that route…(more)

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