Affordable Housing: Investing for Profit? Is It Good for You

Aug 22, 2022 By Triston Martin

People who invest in real estate and do well over time are more than just landlords. They are also smart people who know how to run a business. Investors in real estate run their businesses in a way that is different from that of company managers and portfolio managers, whose main goals are to make as much money as possible while also giving their customers something of value. Affordable housing may be a business and money-making concept. Whether a real estate investor wants to acquire cheap housing, they need to determine if it would be profitable and in demand. Potential purchasers, renovators, and owners must consider the expenses of affordable housing before investing. This ensures sufficient demand and revenue.

Understanding Affordable Housing

Giving those who don't have a lot of money a place to live is the primary objective of home development projects that are priced affordably. Tax credits are available to property owners who agree to provide a certain proportion of their land to the construction of affordable homes. Tenants may get financial assistance from the federal government in order to assist them in paying their monthly rent. In most cases, there are four categories of individuals that are looking for affordable housing.

People with Disabilities and Senior Citizen

People with disabilities and those at least 65 years old make up a big part of the U.S. population. Recent studies show that these numbers are going up and will likely reach all-time highs in the next 20 to 30 years. People in these groups need housing close to public services that can be changed to fit their day-to-day needs. Cabinets, closets, and other storage spaces have had their insides redone to add handrails, ramps instead of stairs, and toilets that can be used by people in wheelchairs.


In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of adults and other non-traditional students who are enrolling in schools and institutions, which has resulted in an increase in the demand for off-campus housing. Students of adult age who are financially responsible for their own families have a need for the availability of private housing in close proximity to their educational institution. Housing must be secured for the whole of the academic year for foreign students since it is both more economical and more convenient for them to do so than for them to often go outside of the country during the academic year's breaks.

The Military

There are different places for military service members to live on and off base. Off-base housing needs extra help with finding a site, building a home that fits the person's needs, and getting the money to buy a home. On-base housing, on the other hand, needs construction, property management, and lawn care. Off-base housing must be close to the base and easy to move into and out of. People who want to invest in military housing need to know about federal contracts and the rules that apply to each military branch.

Programs for Rehabilitation and Re-Entry

For the time being, some people need a place to live. People who just got out of jail, for example, as well as homeless families, people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, and others, all need some temporary housing. Some people and children who use state protective services and mental health programs need to live in group homes or homes in their neighborhoods. Apartments and boarding houses should be big enough to give people the privacy and amenities they need. They should also be safe and easy to get to for each group.

Investment Requirements for Affordable Housing

Investors know how important affordability is because it affects not just one important factor but two: profitability and marketability. Subsidized housing programs like Section 8 help low-income families pay their rent by paying a portion of the full market price for rental units.

Average income

Investors in affordable housing should know the region's median income to calculate the rate of return on a property used only for affordable housing.


Before deciding whether an investment can make a return, analyze your operating expenses. Start with taxes and insurance when considering rental properties. Include utilities, building, grounds care, transfer costs such as inspection, occupancy certification, registration, and other county or municipal fees.


When you invest in affordable housing, you should look for units that already meet the requirements for rental subsidies offered by your local housing authority and fix them up as needed. To sell apartments on the market, you should focus on spending as little money as possible on their development and renovation.

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