Affordable housing is an important element for a healthy society and allows for investments in education, health care and nutrition that can supply a healthy lifestyle. It is especially important now, during the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, when people may be struggling to make ends meet and pay rent.
Public perception of affordable housing is that it is only for the extremely low-income. Providing affordable housing for those of the most need is critical, but a substantial amount of affordable rental housing is directed to seniors that are 55 years of age and over and people that work full time, often in multiple jobs who just don’t make very much money. Most people have family members that fit one of these criteria.
According to an article by Enterprise Community Partners, nearly 19 million households pay over 50% of their income on housing and “hundreds of thousands” have no home at all. Access to affordable housing provides stability for families and those at the highest of risk. Quality affordable housing creates a stable environment for children which is proven to contribute to improved outcomes in education. “Green Improvements” in affordable housing can improve health outcomes for children and seniors as old housing tends to contain lead and asbestos. Newer affordable housing results in better health for seniors and less missed school days for children.
The need for affordable housing is growing as market-rate rental rates are increasing. The number of affordable housing homes is shrinking. In 2010 the US had 5.1 million more low-income renters than affordable homes to house them, I am sure that number is larger today.
I am proud that Metonic and our management partner Seldin Company are responding to the demand of housing affordability. Metonic’s portfolio includes several thousand affordable homes and in 2020 we are adding Onyx at Aksarben to the family of properties. Onyx at Aksarben is located at 75th and Mercy Road in Omaha. The property was originally built in 1963 and is adjacent to Bergan Mercy Hospital. The property is located near major employers including the hospital, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Aksarben business and shopping district. Onyx includes 150 apartment homes which include one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Onyx is located in a top school district and is walking distance to thousands of jobs and public transportation. Onyx rents are very reasonable for the surrounding area ranging from $550/month for the most affordable 1-bedroom up to $1,100/month for the highest 3-bedroom, and the design is top of the market. Metonic believes every person regardless of their age or income should have access to great housing. Onyx at Aksarben helps us fulfill that mission.