Nov 19 2020
10:50 pm
By: michael kaplan

Now that this not-yet-completed, public-subsized, 'affordable' housing project has been rebranded and renamed, I suppose they can raise the rent.


michael kaplan's picture

The floor plans aren't very

The floor plans aren't very good. Note the small walk-through living room that serves as circulation leading to the bedrooms. Is a family really supposed to eat at that tiny island? The 2-BR 974 s.f. units don't seem to have cross ventilation, important in this climate and especially during a pandemic. And I don't think there's any natural light or ventilation in the bathrooms. That's NOT what we teach in architecture school.


JaHu's picture

Seriously? Guests or whoever

Seriously? Guests or whoever is staying in the second bedroom has to go out of their bedroom, basically into the living room and into the bathroom to get to their closet?

I can imagine that some party guests might rummage thru the closet to see what's in there? I guess a key lock could be installed on the closet but that would suck for whoever's staying there.

I'm no architect but here's a sketch I feel might better utilize the floor space for the second bedroom. It seems the little pantry in the kitchen could be replaced by the refrigerator and the sink could be moved to the wall where the refrigerator was. And with the washer and dryer being moved into a room with the water heater then it frees up a wall for a table. Not certain all I've drawn would fit in the space provided but I tried to draw it as close to scale as I could with your image you provided.

Don't ask me what happened with the toilet. When you are doing a sketch with a pen, there are no do overs.


michael kaplan's picture

I didn't notice that. It

I didn't notice that. As you say, you don't need to be an architect to figure this one out, Nice little sketch, btw.

fischbobber's picture

I know

I know what happened to that toilet. But I ain't talking.

Treehouse's picture

Not affordable?

Why is it not affordable housing anymore? What changed?

Joe328's picture

Bathroom Closets

Closets are in both bathrooms, it cuts down doors and gives more wall space in bedrooms.

michael kaplan's picture

To make up for the lack of

To make up for the lack of wall space in the living room? I don't know where the idea of closets in (mechanically ventilated) bathrooms came from. Closets belong in bedrooms. Before closets, armoires were used.

In terms of efficiency/economy, I count five plumbing walls.

j.f.m.'s picture

What makes apartments like

What makes apartments like these "affordable housing" is a.) they have income restrictions (you're not eligible if you make above certain amounts), and b.) they accept section 8 vouchers. Rents at these kinds of complexes are set at market rates, but most of the tenants do not actually pay those rates, they pay a portion of them with the rest covered by vouchers.

Treehouse's picture

But did it change?

It sounded like something changed in the designation because rents increased.

Mike Cohen's picture


The rents might have gone up, but you can't tell for sure from this. The first picture says "Rent starting at $777. The second is for $932, but specifies two bedrooms. The first image could be the rate for a studio or one bedroom.

michael kaplan's picture

Not sure, but I think this

Not sure, but I think this project only has 2- and 3-bedroom units. (It's possible there may have been a few smaller units.)

j.f.m.'s picture

I don't think anything has

I don't think anything has changed in terms of it being designated affordable housing. Those different rents on the signs could reflect either different sized units or changes in the local rent market. Rents in units like these are set at market rates, so if the market rate goes up so will they. Again, what makes them "affordable" is that they have income qualification and they accept HUD vouchers. The landlord receives market rents, but much of it is paid by federal subsidy.

michael kaplan's picture

if the market rate goes up so

if the market rate goes up so will they

The difference between the two photos is 5 months. That's a 20% rise, or 48% annual. Makes sense. Parallels the stock market, but not salaries, so the entire concept of 'affordability' is out of whack.

j.f.m.'s picture

Well, again, none of us

Well, again, none of us actually knows what those two photos mean — whether it's an actual rise in rates at the apartments, or if it's referring to different size apartments, etc. But the point is that this is all controlled by formulas. There's a formula for establishing the local market rate, and a formula for the percentage of that that HUD will pay, depending on the income of the tenant. It's all regulated, it's not like a landlord can just randomly jack up rents.

What makes those apartments "affordable" is (again) that they have income qualifications for tenants, and they accept HUD vouchers. It doesn't have to do with the nominal rent, since tenants don't pay that anyway.

michael kaplan's picture

none of us actually knows

none of us actually knows what those two photos mean

Maybe you should do some investigative reporting ...

j.f.m.'s picture

Or I could just look up what

Or I could just look up what we already wrote about this a year and a half ago. A portion of the apartments are specifically designated for low-income tenants:

The 44 low-income apartments at Young High Flats would all be three-bedroom units. Thirty-five of them would have a maximum rent of $1,097 a month, while nine would be capped at $866 a month. As with Flats at Pond Gap, utility allowances and federal income guidelines can lower the actual cost.

CathyMcCaughan's picture


I'm sure the apartments are sturdy and safe, regardless of the odd floor plan inviting mildew clothing. I do know that with those pricetags, realtors need to stop knocking on my door to ask if I want to sell my home with only a slightly larger mortgage payment.

R. Neal's picture

From Apartments.Com: 2 BRs 2

From Apartments.Com:

2 BRs 2 Baths $765-932, 1,000 Sq Ft
3 BRs 2 Baths $882-1,074, 1,200 Sq Ft

R. Neal's picture


If you go to their website, all 2BR are listed at $932, and 3BR are $1074 and $1132.

michael kaplan's picture

article on gentrification and 'affordable' housing

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