Lens on Expanding Middle-Income Housing

Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy Michael Lens spoke to the Long Beach Post about increasing the availability of middle-income housing. While many tax breaks and credits are available to developers building low-income housing, there aren’t many incentives to build homes for middle-income earners. A new state program will issue bonds to investors who buy existing market-rate buildings and transform them into units that are affordable for middle-income households. Lens said creating new housing for any tier is a good thing. The need for lower-income housing remains great, but the housing market has become so unaffordable that a program like this may have been necessary, he said. “It only happens when you’re so worried about the affordability of housing driving those kinds of people out of the state,” Lens said. “I think we’re there, but whether or not we’ll find a bunch of money to do something about it, it remains to be seen.”


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