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An investigation of parameters affecting affordable housing location choice


Nishat Afshan, Rajan Chandra Sinha


The provision of affordable housing has become a major concern for policymakers and urban planners, especially in developing nations of the world. One of the key challenges in this domain is the identification of suitable locations for the development of affordable housing. Appropriate locations of affordable housing will improve the housing satisfaction of residents by increasing the social and economic benefits for low-income residents, providing better accessibility to opportunities and services, and reducing poverty concentration. A bidirectional relationship exists among affordable adequate housing and health, and has been recognized as an essential sustainable development component.

Therefore, this research aims to identify the factors that govern the spatial location choice of affordable housing. The determinants were derived through an exploratory study of relevant literature studies encompassing different geographical contexts, socio-economic backgrounds, and technological and economic advancement levels. A total of 61 parameters were identified, each of which lies in one of the following six categories: neighbourhood characteristics, urban characteristics, social factors, economic parameters, demographic factors, and housing quality.

The findings indicate that the location choice of users varies with regard to the context of an urban area. Broadly speaking, most of the prior studies have considered accessibility, transport-related factors, and housing prices as important attributes in determining the optimal location for siting affordable housing. However, parameters such as socio-economic criteria, accessibility to various facilities, and employment opportunities have greater significance in developing nations. Contrasting results are observed in the case of several developed nations, wherein factors such as safety, environmental aspects, and dwelling type were emphasized over elements of accessibility. The identified parameters can be considered by the policymakers to evaluate optimal locations for siting affordable housing projects, thereby ensuring that low-income residents reside in neighbourhoods that promote social and economic sustainability.

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