Search form

(Updated May 2017)

Questions arise about whether or not the sales prices of single-family homes are made higher or lower when low-income housing is nearby.  Most studies indicate that affordable housing has no long term negative impact on surrounding home values. In fact, some research indicates the opposite.  However, local communities continue to believe the myth, raising a cry of "Not in my Backyard! (NIMBY)." The following articles and studies examine the effects of low-income, public, and subsidized housing on the values of surrounding properties; the challenge of NIMBY; homelessness in America; and some possible resources people can use to educate community groups and local governments. (K. Bartlett Walsh, Senior Quality Assurance/Customer Advocate)

E – EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Housing Pulse Surveys


Source: Americans Think Buying a Home is a Good Financial Decision, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2015).

Texas Residents Oppose Affordable Housing

Source: Watch Texas Residents Oppose Affordable Housing, (Affordable Housing Finance, Feb. 22, 2016).

Impacts of Low-Income Housing on Neighboring Properties

We’re not nimbies. We just love our parks, (Canberra Times, Apr. 6, 2017). E

Higher-density housing needs ‘living quality’, (Australian Financial Review, Feb. 15, 2017). E

Choice Neighborhoods, (On Common Ground, May 17, 2016).

Vacant Land … or Affordable Housing, (On Common Ground, May 17, 2016).

Messaging for Affordable Housing, (On Common Ground, May 17, 2016).

NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

How Affordable Housing Helps Companies, (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 19, 2016).

REALTORS® Applaud House Passage of “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act”, (National Association of REALTORS®, Feb. 2, 2016).

Property value in low-income housing debate, (The Marketplace, Dec. 15, 2015).

An Update Analysis of the Relationship Between Affordable Family Rental Housing and Home Values in the Twin Cities, (Maxfield Research, Inc., May 2014).

The Limits of Housing Investment as a Neighborhood Revitalization Tool, (Journal of American Planning Association, July 1, 2013). E

Opposition to Public Ho​using (NIMBYism)

Re-visiting NIMBY:  From conflicting interest to conflicting valuations, (Sociological Review, May 1, 2017). E

Land prices, ‘NIMBY’ attitude stifle affordable housing progress in Bluffton, (The Hilton Head Island Packet,  Jan. 6, 2017). E

NIMBYism ruining our neighborhoods, (Toronto Star, Jan. 7, 2016). E

Opposition Organizes Again Low-Income Housing at American Legion Site, (Wilmette-Kenilworth Patch, Nov. 11, 2015).

The new NIMBYism, (The Washington Post, Dec. 10, 2015). E

Opposition to housing in HBO’s “Show Me a Hero” sound eerily familiar, (Greater Greater Washington, Aug. 21, 2015).

Where should Poor People Live?, (The Atlantic, June 2, 2015).

Who gets to live where? The battle over affordable housing, (Aljazeera America, Jan. 18, 2015).

New York State’s Affordable Housing Developers:  What They Do, How They Do it, (Rooflines, Jan. 30, 2014).

NIMBY:  Where, When, And to Which Develoopers it Happens, (Rooflines, Mar. 31, 2014).

Who, Why and How Communities Oppose Affordable Housing, (Rooflines, Apr. 23, 2014).


Housing Opportunity Program, (National Association of REALTORS®) — NAR's Housing Opportunity Program helps REALTORS® become leaders in promoting home ownership at local, state and national levels.

HUD User (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development) — Numerous reports, articles, data sets, and other information on affordable housing from HUD's research department.

National Low Income Housing Coalition — Includes numerous studies and reports on the state of affordable housing in the U.S., including the monthly NIMBY Report.

National Housing Conference — A national nonprofit affordable housing advocacy organization, featuring an Affordable Housing Clearinghouse, affordable housing publications and studies, and more.

eBooks & Other Resources

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

The Effects of Subsidized Housing on Property Values: A Survey of Research, (California Department of Housing & Community Development, 1988). HD 1387 C12e

Growth Management and Affordable Housing: Do They Conflict?, (Brookings Institution Press, 2004). HT166 G74

Impacts of Social Housing: Final Report, (Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation, Jan. 1994). HD 1387 C16

Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal, (Brookings Institution Press, 2002). HD 7287 L68

Why Not in My Backyard? Neighborhood Impacts of Deconcentrating Assisted Housing, (Rutgers University - Center for Urban Policy Research, 2003). HD 7293 W52w

Why Not in Our Community? Removing barriers to affordable housing, (HUD, 2005). HD7293 Un3wn

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Inclusionary Zoning

Field Guide to Social Benefits of Homeownership

Information Services Blog

Have an Idea for a New Field Guide?

Click here to send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.