Doing the Right Residential Thing
From Ground Up to Gut Renovation, Langan’s Perspective on Affordable Housing
As an engineering consultant rooted deeply in major cities around the country, Langan is on the front lines of affordable housing design and development. In San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, and the multiple urban pockets of New Jersey, elected officials, economic development leaders, and committed developers are wrestling with this crisis.
Funding, of course, is always the main concern, but so are the many complicated technical and regulatory impediments that Langan overcomes to make affordable housing projects happen. Often, municipally-owned sites targeted for affordable housing present some of the following development issues: contamination, irregular site geometry, or lack of access to suitable infrastructure. Affordable housing projects, which already require subsidy, can ill afford the burden of extra site development costs that direct public money “below-ground” instead of into housing units.
“We consistently save time and budget for affordable housing projects when we are involved early enough to best understand all site constraints,” said Sony David, Associate, Langan. “Developers appreciate when we identify ‘red flags’ and devise ways to mitigate costly site improvements, which include utility extensions or upgrades; working within wetlands and ecologically restrictive areas, floodplain management, and resiliency.”
Another way to save money is to find money. For example, most state Brownfield Cleanup Programs provide additional tax credits for affordable housing projects. Langan consistently helps affordable housing developers leverage such funding sources. Additionally, as the adage goes … “time is money”; HUD and local HPD-funded affordable housing projects only have semi-annual closings in June and December. Langan’s strong track record of maintaining design schedule and obtaining agency permits relating to a variety of site issues helps protect budgets by avoiding delays.
Apart from our reputation as land development engineers, Langan also provides services within buildings to assist with renovation projects. The firm offers comprehensive demolition design and permitting, and hazmat investigations, while our survey team captures existing conditions via 3D laser scanning and modeling.