Affordable Housing Investment Fund

Link post

Lots of people are looking for investments they can feel good about, which makes me think people might be interested in putting a portion of their savings toward helping resolve the housing crisis if it offered a reasonable return. The idea is that you construct 100% affordable housing in places like Somerville that offer large density bonuses for affordable housing. Sketching some numbers, it looks to me like this is:

  • Potentially very profitable: ~2x ROI over ~3y, which is about ~25% annual growth. It’s likely not actually that amazing when you factor in other aspects I don’t know about, but there’s a lot of room for a lower ROI that’s still pretty attractive.

  • A large opportunity: you could build 8k units in Somerville for ~$2.8B. This is ~$0.8B in land purchase (assuming city assessments are half the purchase price on average) and ~$2B in construction (assuming a cost of $200/​sqft). Much larger when you consider all the other municipalities that have similar programs.

A group of neighbors pooling their funds to help resolve the housing crisis is also a lot more politically robust than independent for-profit developers coming in.

Does anything like this exist? Has anyone considered starting something?