Affordable Housing Benefits Everyone


Charles Patton, Senior Policy Analyst, Partnership for Strong Communities. 

Cleveland, OH, the city where I was raised, is not unlike many cities in America. Most of the impoverished residents are concentrated in neighborhoods with poor schools and a paltry labor market while most of the affluent residents are concentrated in neighborhoods with thriving schools and flourishing labor markets. I did not understand how influential the housing market was on all of these institutions until I served as a Research Associate at Ohio State University. That experience allowed me to understand how the housing market funded public school systems and attracted businesses to invest in a community.

Affordable housing is one way to provide access to high quality schools and jobs, paving the way for a talent pool that is bright, creative, and hardworking. There are talented people in impoverished communities that are not provided the resources and opportunities needed to cure diseases, resolve political conflicts, address environmental problems, etc. Affordable housing not only provides them with more opportunities to succeed, it provides our nation with more opportunities to succeed.

Affordable housing benefits everyone. It not only alleviates financial strain on impoverished communities, it also enhances housing diversity and provides insurance against contagious price slides in affluent communities. It reduces blight in impoverished communities and increases property values in affluent communities. It helps reduce residential turnover in impoverished communities, while also encouraging businesses to invest in affluent communities.

I really appreciate being a part of an organization like the Partnership for Strong Communities that recognizes how housing, education, and economic development are all intimately connected. The majority of my experiences have centered on quantitatively investigating how housing impacts other institutions. I’m really looking forward to not only using data to investigate these issues but to also work on the ground in communities as a Senior Policy Analyst where I can directly interact with towns and provide them with tools to develop flourishing and equitable neighborhoods.

Click here to read Charles' Bio.

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