Authors: David A. Crowe
Fannie Mae Foundation
Housing markets are determined by a complex interplay of consumers and suppliers. The Keyes, et al, article discusses the changing landscape for nonprofit housing providers and what recent developments in federal housing assistance policy will mean to them. But this perspective is too narrow to predict the effects of changes in federal housing policy because all housing providers are somewhat interrelated. All housing providers need to be considered, and using the terms for-profit and nonprofit to distinguish between the two types of providers is unfortunate and misleading. For-profits and nonprofits are fundamentally different: They place a different emphasis on community, and nonprofits can often deliver subsidies that for-profits cannot. In addition, the strengths and the skills needed to produce housing under somewhat different objectives have led to some specialization. Ultimately, however, determining the optimal provider or mix of providers is best left to local and state governments as federal housing assistance devolves.
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