A 2017 piece by Shelterforce‘s Miriam Axel-Lute argued that blaming community development corporations (CDCs) for the high cost of affordable housing construction is misguided. I agree, and contend that not only is this blame misguided, it ignores the work of CDCs and nonprofits that are leading efforts to reduce costs in key areas of financing, construction, and land costs.
These are key areas because they are the top drivers of construction costs. If housing is increasingly expensive to build, more housing gets built for those at higher incomes and less is built for middle- and low-income residents. This creates communities where only the top income earners can live with access to the best resources and opportunities.