I remember reading years ago about demonstration projects where a city or a non-profit would do a “gut rehab” of a building to show how we could build affordable housing. Each time I divided the cost by the number of units, it came to about $100,000 per unit. “That’s ‘way too much to be rolled out into any kind of substantial program,” I thought.
Well, the price has gone up.
Newark, N.J., recently spent $16 million and four years to make 67 units from an old jewelry factory. That comes to $223,880.60 per unit.
If Newark spent 5% of its budget on such housing (2011 budget was $769 million), they could build 161 units. Ouch!