Affordable Housing

Turning Older Buildings into Great Places to Live

Capital One's Laura Bailey writes about the benefits of adaptive-reuse projects
by Laura Bailey.

Laura Bailey, senior vice president of community finance at Capital One.

“For institutions that seek to finance affordable housing, adaptive reuse feels like a special bonus. The complexity of adaptive reuse can test the stamina and creativity of all involved, but the results can be both spectacular and far-reaching. When a much-beloved building is restored to life, the surrounding neighborhood shares in this invigoration. The impact on residents can also be profound. There is something reaffirming about living in a community landmark, particularly one that so clearly exhibits the care that went into its restoration.

Other benefits of adaptive reuse as a strategy for affordable housing are highlighted in Real Trends: The Future of Real Estate in the United States, a report commissioned by Capital One and written by the MIT Center for Real Estate. The authors note that structures selected for adaptive reuse are usually close to city centers and embedded in the urban infrastructure, affording improved access to transportation and employment opportunities. They also cite the lower environmental costs of retrofitting existing buildings over building new ones.

Read the rest of the article originally published in Affordable Housing Finance.