The public often becomes concerned about affordable housing being built in their neighbourhood. They worry about things like: Will the value of my property decrease? Will crime be more prevalent in the neighbourhood? Are the properties going to look like slums and be poorly maintained? Who will my new neighbours be?
Right at Home Housing Society encourages you to change your perspective from being a NIMBY (“Not In My Back Yard”), to saying, YES In My Back Yard! Here are a few of the myths surrounding affordable housing properties, and how we can prove they are wrong:
Myth #1: My property value will decrease if affordable housing units are built next door
Recent studies have shown that affordable housing has been proven to increase property values of houses surrounding them. In fact, houses that have sold in neighbourhoods with affordable housing managed by not-for-profit companies, like Right at Home Housing Society, have actually seen an increase in their value. In addition, owners have seen no difference in the time their house was on the market or the number of homes sold near affordable housing properties in comparison to other neighbourhoods. As a bonus, these properties facilitate higher education for its tenants, ultimately increasing their wealth and contribution to their community.
Myth #2: People who live in affordable housing are criminals, and therefore, crime will be abundant in the neighbourhood
Affordable housing built in low-income neighbourhoods actually reduces crime, and there is no difference in crime rates in affluent neighbourhoods. Some stereotypes will lead those in affluent communities to either flee, or those moving in will turn away from such areas where affordable housing is built. However, the idea that people renting affordable housing from not-for-profits will use the property to perpetuate crime is false.
Myth #3: The affordable housing units will be an eye-sore
At Right at Home Housing Society, we take pride in making our housing structures aesthetically pleasing, and maintaining the structure and condition of all of our buildings. We consistently employ a maintenance crew, composed of full-time and casual labour that includes some of our tenants, who work to maintain the exterior and interior of our properties. Recently, we did a siding renovation on one of our buildings to replace the old and damaged exterior:
Myth #4: My new neighbours are going to be unfriendly, rude, and lazy
The majority of those who experience low-income needs for housing in Canada are families – either single parents, or couples with children. Furthermore, low-income housing helps these families find jobs and contribute to the workforce, which many have been actively willing to participate in. This is contrary to the popular belief that they would continue to live off social assistance. In fact, housing barriers are often the reason than many low-income citizens are unable to effectively find jobs.
Remember that affordable housing doesn’t always create a negative impact on your community, and to let people know that you support the #yegyimby movement!