In the Affordable Housing Demonstrations, actual housing developments were built in 27 cities and communities in 24 states throughout the United States, with local public officials and the designated builder cooperating to reduce the cost of the completed homes. All the developments built in the program were subject to the ultimate test of the marketplace when the homes were completed and sold. Costs and savings in each demonstration project were carefully monitored, and each project was described and analyzed in a Case Study prepared by the NAHB National Research Center and published by HUD. A list of the projects appears in Appendix
The central theme of the demonstrations was that builders and local officials can, together, identify ways to reduce the cost of housing and to modify or interpret local building codes and site development regulations to promote efficiency and affordability. No Federal funds were provided either to the builder or to the community to support the projects. In each case, HUD asked for a formal commitment from the highest elected official that the local government would give its strong support.
The experience of the Joint Venture for Affordable Housing demonstrates that the answer to the question, "Can affordable housing be built on a substantial scale through widely-replicable procedures?’, is YES. Thousands of dollars can be shaved off the cost of new homes – enough to broaden the audience of buyers, to reverse the ominous economic and social trends described above, and to place America once more on the path toward increasing fulfillment of the overwhelming wishes of its citizens. The two keys are knowledge and commitment.
The Joint Venture for Affordable Housing has greatly increased our understanding of how it can be done. Knowledge gained from the Demonstration Projects has been distilled in this two-volume report.