7 Affordable Housing Trends to Watch  

NHPF's Claire Balcerzak on some much-needed updates to the traditional model.

Claire Berczak

Claire Balcerzak

As we are well into implementing plans for Q2 2023 and giving thought to Q3 and Q4, it’s time to review some recent ideas and reminders to help improve our work in affordable housing. Here are some trends to watch:

Tech-assisted housing

Particularly for disabled and some elderly residents, the idea that a home could be so well-automated that a simple ask of Alexa could activate everything from appliances to a bed-lift, is remarkable and actually on the horizon.

Embracing AI

The robots are here and they can help us! For the uninitiated, check out AI-assisted platforms to help with writing tasks associated with materials preparation in affordable housing. We recommend using the bot to save time on preliminary drafts of materials such as RFP responses, award entries, press releases, etc., with all serious editing reserved for humans!

Affordable assisted living

No crystal ball is needed to see that senior housing developers need to add this dimension to their portfolio. Currently, there are a handful of developments that can truly be called affordable assisted living, but we predict creation of this housing will increase as Boomers continue to age.

Building modular into affordable housing

Modular components can streamline the construction process, saving time, and reducing the need for labor. Proponents say it’s scalable, reliable and a boon to the industry, an industry that also appeals to differently skilled laborers, opening new doors to job-seekers. Attendees of the 2023 NHPF Symposium, “The Future of Affordable Housing” will hear from Roger Krulak, founder & president of FullStack Modular with the latest on the subject.

Shiny new objects

Providing the affordable housing of the future requires a multitude of disciplines and skillsets working together. What products and services can add to the success of a project? We currently like ideas such as cloud management of images via services like Canto as well as rent reporting services that help renters build credit such as Esusu and RentCafe for streamlined resident/management communications.

The latest in website accessibility

This topic has been discussed and as a housing provider, you may think that your site is 100% ADA accessible, but don’t stop there. Continue to review and update, engage a consultant if need be, to stay accessible.

Welcome bags for all new residents

Full of important tips on recycling and maintenance as well as sample products, coupons etc. these packages are an ideal way to connect positively with new residents.

The old adage, “I have seen the future and it works” is one we all hope will apply to the affordable housing we all want to preserve and construct. Let’s watch these trends and others still to come to help us make that a reality.

Claire Balcerzak is asset manager, The NHP Foundation..

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