There has been a lot of heated discussions lately about affordable housing and community redevelopment. Something that many people may not be considering, however, is how redevelopment can affect the greater community. To better understand how redevelopment can impact residents and the surrounding communities, consider these benefits of improved housing.
Creating a community by involving all stakeholders in a redevelopment project can have impacts that reach far beyond the residents and landlord. A redevelopment project can engage communities and their members to advocate for their needs, get involved with their neighbors, and build a sense of true community.
Mixed-use spaces create jobs and retail opportunities for neighborhoods. Adding housing to previously underutilized commercial or industrial buildings can revitalize downtown areas and create exciting opportunities to attract younger families to graying districts.
Increased Access To Transportation
If you look at a city like Los Angeles, it is easy to see the lack of affordable housing. LA-based Steven Taylor of Taylor Equities points to new Metro stops that can increase access to transportation for many apartment dwellers. but, that may link them to more than transportation. This can also open up job opportunities, which can increase the financial standing of residents in communities near those new stops. Increased access to public transportation may make reaching doctors, schools, and community services easier and more affordable.
Accessible Food Choices
Many low-density urban areas are considered food deserts, with little or no access to grocery stores or supercenters. That leaves the residents in these food deserts with few options for affordable healthy, fresh food options. Poor nutrition can lead to negative health outcomes like malnutrition, obesity, and higher risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Redevelopment projects that incorporate increased access to transportation and food, as well as generate community engagement, can help revitalize more than a building. They can help breathe new life into entire communities.