Affordable Housing Tag Archives

Tennessee Legislature Bill Takes Aim at Affordable Housing Crisis

Members of the Tennessee legislature are pushing a bill that would help ease housing affordability challenges in urban areas. The Affordable Rental Property Act would give tax breaks to property owners offering rents below a certain affordability threshold. These tax breaks would be available in areas that currently lack sufficient affordable housing and are specifically targeted towards high-cost urban areas.

Harvard JCHS Publishes New Analysis of Rental Markets; Low Income Renters Competing for Shrinking Supply

In a new blog post Daniel McCue, a Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies reports on new analysis of rental markets which compares changes in the rental supply at various rent levels with changes in the number of renter households at various income levels.  McCue finds that that a growing number of low-income renters are competing for a shrinking number of low-rent units. The analysis also found that the rapid growth in high-income renters over the last ten years has outnumbered growth in high-rent units, and that similar trends are shared by nearly every metro area in the US.  “Between 2006 and 2016 there were notable changes at both the low and the high ends of the market.  Supply and demand at the low end of the market are going in different directions.  On the one hand, the number of renter households with annual incomes under $26,000 per year (in constant 2016 dollars) grew by 1.8 million between 2006 and 2016.  However, the number of rental units that would be affordable to these households at 30 percent of income dropped by 500,000. New supply is clearly not coming online at these low rent levels.”

Enterprise & Frameworks Institute Release Reports On Building Public Support for Affordable Housing

Enterprise, in partnership with the FrameWorks Institute, has released a pair of reports that outline an effective language strategy to build public support for affordable housing. “Finding a Frame for Affordable Housing” is an evidence-based approach to countering NIMBYism and public misperception in debates about affordable housing. The companion paper,“Piecing it Together,” takes these findings and translates them into a playbook for advocates that provides specific recommendations about the “do’s and don’ts” of campaigning for affordable housing.

NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates Launch New Housing Policy Tool

The NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates launched LocalHousingSolutions.org, an online, interactive tool to help communities develop local strategies that promote housing affordability. A growing number of communities across the country are struggling with problems tied to high housing costs, including rising homelessness, fear of displacement among longtime residents, and growing numbers of households unable to afford their rents or mortgages. LocalHousingSolutions.org provides policymakers and practitioners, housing advocates, developers, and concerned community members with a single source of guidance via a library of more than 80 policies to preserve and strengthen affordability and address a range of other housing objectives.  The site will be particularly useful for cities, towns, and counties seeking to develop and implement comprehensive and balanced local housing strategies that tackle high housing costs.

LocalHousingSolutions.org allows stakeholders to assess a community’s current housing needs and policy goals.  An online questionnaire generates recommendations from the site’s extensive Policy Library.  Policy guidance is organized around a four-pronged framework that includes policies for creating and preserving dedicated affordable housing and for removing barriers to the creation of additional market-rate housing – two complementary ways to increase the supply of affordable housing.  The framework also provides strategies to help households afford and access private market homes, both in the rental and homeownership markets. These efforts can relieve the intense competition for a limited supply of subsidized units, and help to address historic patterns of segregation. Finally, the site offers policies to protect against displacement and improve housing conditions, critical elements of a fair and effective housing strategy.