Originally Posted by c_speed3108
The tricky thing about mixed developments is while everyone seems to support the idea in principle, when it comes to laying hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table...people run.
or as another poster said, if they don't run it creates a class structure in buildings/complexes which does not do anyone any good either.
I am personally a more of a fan of a) trying to protect against the rising costs of housing and b) helping those in lower incomes improve there economic position through the opportunities available around them so that they can then afford reasonably priced properties.
I spent some time thinking about this and they are very good points. It is not a simple matter to pin down with a single solution, though, because economic conditions change and may require different tools and types of responses.
For example: instituting a housing subsidy to poorer households is a good approach in theory and works best in a context of economic stability or prosperity. But in times of economic instability or recession, there are potentially more households to subsidize at a time when tax revenues may also drop from a slowdown in growth, lower amounts of user fees collected, fewer building permits issued, fewer development charges collected, etc. How does a municipality navigate such a system of support through time and economic ups and downs?
On the other hand, for all the trouble that comes with it, housing stock constitutes an immobile asset which a municipality can leverage, or lease out for revenue to a management company, or package as a safe type of REIT with a rate of return that approximates government bonds, since there is virtually no vacancy in assisted housing units and rent increases (and therefore rates of return), along with operating costs, are predictable.
And, on your other point regarding buyers unwilling to purchase next to subsidized housing: Yes, that is the experience. Which is why so many eyes are on Regent Park as it unfolds. The bet they are making is that, through urban design, the streetscape will be integrated in such a way as to mask the difference between a subsidized building and a market building. Much as in older urban fabrics (and in older European cities), where a streetscape is a succession of contiguous buildings and a passerby won't know who lives in them because they all have storefronts along the sidewalk, Regent Park has gone boldly toward a genuine type of urbanity that will allow buildings to meld into a streetscape and therefore create a "place", or a neighbourhood, where the tenure matters less than the overall desirability of living there (because it is lively, close to everything, convenient, walkable, etc.).
We have been treating subsidized housing as "sites" and isolating them, either geographically or through urban design blunders like setbacks, side yards, etc., that make them identifiable and prone to standing out, when in fact we should be integrating those buildings as completely as possible with their neighbours to stitch an urban fabric that won't let you tell the difference.