The pandemic may catalyze a boom in affordable housing construction in Southern California. Affordable housing was already in high demand before the pandemic, and the economic dislocation has only driven demand up. In addition, affordable housing typically outperforms traditional multifamily product during market downturns. This has created a perfect storm for increased affordable housing construction with Southern California contractor RAAM Construction already seeing an increase in activity.

"As the coronavirus pandemic and its economic aftermath play out in the multifamily sector, affordable housing development and construction have remained strong as compared to sectors like luxury apartment development," Richard Lara, founder and president of RAAM, tells GlobeSt.com. "With affordable housing demand consistently outpacing supply, public-private partnerships on the rise to develop this product type, and investors looking to diversify with a stable investment category, affordable housing construction is positioned to remain a strong sector of commercial real estate well into the future."

The pandemic has increased the need for affordable housing, and that will drive more developers into the asset class. "As unemployment figures continue to climb due to the COVID-19 pandemic, having fewer breadwinners per household for many American families means that people will be increasingly seeking affordable housing as the market struggles to recover," Lara says. "It's clear that the need for affordable construction will only continue to grow in the coming months and years as we make our way to recovery."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.