Housing Future? 24 Market Rate/2 Affordable In Richmond, VA, or 2 Market Rate/92 Affordable In Oakland, CA?

Richmond, Virginia photo by Doug Kerr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Older commercial buildings in Richmond, Virginia.

With affordable housing demand far outstripping supply, what are we to make of government affordable housing incentives that produce stories like the following? “Developers in Richmond, VA are excited to be able to build 2 affordable units in a 26 unit former commercial building reno.” Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Sisters redeveloping mid-century era building on Thompson Street into apartments

Not to sneer at the enthusiasm of the Richmond  developers able to take advantage of government assistance, but how can this kind of funding structure possibly catch up with the ever-increasing numbers of people who cannot find affordable housing?

While it may be simplistic to simply look at the numbers, there is no doubt that a project under way in Oakland, California opens the eyes to more encouraging possibilities. It would seem that at least some public/private partnerships can move beyond affordable housing tokenism and towards some real hope for inner city renewal that not only preserves the quantity of affordable housing stock, but actually may increase it. Try: Renewal without Gentrification? Yes, it can be done.