HousingPolicy.org is an easy-to-use, online guide to high-impact state and local housing policies developed by the Center for Housing Policy.
HousingPolicy.org is developed and maintained by the Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference. We greatly appreciate the support of HousingPolicy.org’s funders, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The website has 5 main sections: (1) Getting Started, where users can learn about what affordable housing is, who needs it & why; (2) the Toolbox, where users can find the main policy content and case studies; (3) Building a Strategy, which provides guidance and examples on putting these policies into a comprehensive housing strategy that works for your community; (4) the Gallery of Affordable Homes which showcases images of attractive affordable homes throughout the country; and (5) the Forum, which is the interactive part of the site where Forum members can pose questions and share ideas and best practices The colored tabs at the top of each page on housingpolicy.org allow for easy access to each of these 5 sections, wherever you are on the site. We also have some special features highlighted on the home page, including: A to Z Search (in the upper right) Our featured podcast, The In Focus page, which features a different topic each month and highlights new material on the site
The Getting Started section provides information that would be helpful to those who are new to housing policy, as well as answers that can help you frame responses to constituent questions. Throughout the site, you’ll see footnotes that reference research evidence, so you don’t just have to take our word for it. In the Getting Started section, you can find answers to many basic questions about affordable housing, such as “What is affordable housing?”; “Why is housing growing less affordable?”; “How can we increase housing options for working families?”; “What can government agencies do?”; and “Won’t more housing just overburden our public facilities?”
In the Getting Started section, you can find answers to many basic questions about affordable housing, such as “What is affordable housing?”; “Why is housing growing less affordable?”; “How can we increase housing options for working families?”; “What can government agencies do?”; and “Won’t more housing just overburden our public facilities?”
The toolbox contains a wealth of policy examples, tips, and case studies. It is organized into 4 smaller toolkits that address (a) steps that states and localities can take to increase the availability of homes for families at all income levels; (b) meeting the housing needs of older adults, completed in partnership with AARP, (c) making homes more resistant to natural disasters, a section created in partnership with WeatherPredict consulting, and (d) a section on preventing foreclosures and stabilizing neighborhoods, which links to our sister-site Foreclosure-Response.org Ways to find a policy: (1) Browsing through the toolkits – this helps you home in on policies that meet your needs (2) Clicking the “All Roles and Policies” link in the Quick Links box (also note that people working at the state level can find key state roles in the Quick Links box) (3) Or you can use the A to Z / Search, found in the banner of every page
The 22 high-impact policies you can learn about in the Toolbox include making publicly-owned land available, adopting expedited permitting policies, inclusionary zoning, employer-assisted housing, shared equity, and foreclosure prevention.
Meeting the Housing Needs of Older Adults can be achieved through a variety of policies. We’ll look a little further at one of these: Provide Affordable and Accessible Transportation Options
This is the overview page that describes rezoning policies. Note the icons in the upper right. These link are handy tools (feedback, printing, and e-mailing) We try to keep the text jargon-free, and link to the glossary if readers may need help understanding an unfamiliar term. Real world examples can be found for each policy.
Each policy section delves into greater levels of detail as you continue clicking. Navigation tools, including a breadcrumb trail, clickable headings, and hyperlinked outlines of each section make it easy to keep track of progress.
Three icons in the upper right of every page provide handy tools: (1) Click the lightbulb icon to send us feedback – whether it is more examples, comments, or corrections, we want to incorporate your feedback to make this site a useful tool for communities nationwide. (2) Click the printer icon to print a single page, or an entire policy section. (3) Click the envelope icon to e-mail a page to colleague.
Building a Strategy is divided into 6 sections: The First 4 deal with creating a plan – an overview of what it is, information about setting goals, creating the plan itself, and tips for making the plan a success. The 5 th section contains profiles of housing plans in a variety of communities, at the state, county, and municipal level. And the final section, Connections, explores the ways in which housing policy is related to other key social goals such as education, health, and smart growth.
Building a Strategy answers questions such as “Why does my community need a comprehensive housing strategy?” and provides guidance and examples to help create a plan that is successful and considers housing’s impact on a broad range of community needs.
Users can browse images of real affordable homes in the Gallery. Results can be filtered to see homes in a specific region of the country; rental, homeowner, or mixed renter and owner developments; or homes in urban, suburban, or rural areas. All of the images you see are of affordable homes in communities across the country. We welcome your submissions for inclusion in the Gallery. Just click on the light bulb icon to contact us!
That’s the end of this brief overview of HousingPolicy.org. Please browse through the site and contact us if you have any questions about how to find what you need on HousingPolicy.org. Got a bright idea or an example to share? Click on the light bulb or the “contact us” links on HousingPolicy.org to submit your feedback. Want to stay updated about major additions to the site? Click on Join HousingPolicy.org at the bottom of any page. Thank you!
Transportation Policy and Location-Efficient Development for an Aging Country Solutions for Sustainable Communities September 27, 2011 Emily Salomon, Research Associate
Welcome to HousingPolicy.org Your online guide to state and local housing policy
HousingPolicy.org is an online guide to state and local housing policy developed and maintained by the Center for Housing Policy , the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference .
The purpose of HousingPolicy.org is to collect and provide examples of proven solutions for expanding the availability of homes for working families and others in your community.
HousingPolicy.org was developed with the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation .
NOTE: Any opinions expressed on HousingPolicy.org, as well as any errors or omissions on the site, are those of the Center for Housing Policy only and do not necessarily reflect the positions of any funder or other entity.
What is HousingPolicy.org ?
5 Main Sections Plus Special Features 1 2 3 4 Listen! ↑ Search In Focus 5
The Getting Started section answers basic questions about affordable housing – what it is, who needs it, and why.
Drop-down menus allow users to navigate Q&As.
The full text of all
Q&As is available here.
“ Why Not” responds to some common constituent concerns.
All roles and policies in the Affordability Toolkit :
Expand Development Opportunities
Make Publicly-Owned Land Available for Affordable Homes
Facilitate the Reuse of Abandoned, Vacant, and Tax-Delinquent Properties
Expand the Supply of Homes through Rezonings
Reduce Red Tape
Ensure Zoning Policies Support a Diversity of Housing Types
Adopt Expedited Permitting and Review Policies
Revise Impact Fee Structures
Adopt "Rehab Codes" to Facilitate Rehabilitation of Older Homes
Capitalize on Market Activity
Utilize Tax Increment Financing to Fund Affordable Homes
Stimulate Construction or Rehabilitation Through Tax Abatements
Create or Expand Dedicated Housing Trust Funds
Establish Inclusionary Zoning Requirements or Incentives
Use Cross-Subsidies to Support Mixed-Income Communities
Preserve and Recycle Resources
Preserve Affordable Rental Homes
Recycle Downpayment Assistance
Use Shared Equity Mechanisms to Preserve Homeownership Subsidies
Expand the Use of the 4 Percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
Provide Pre-Development and Acquisition Financing
Support Housing Bond Issues
Use Housing Finance Agency Reserves for Affordable Homes
Leverage Employers' Commitment to Affordable Homes for Workers
Create or Expand Dedicated Housing Trust Funds
Help Residents Succeed
Expand Homeownership Education and Counseling
Prevent Foreclosures and Help Affected Renters and Owners
All roles and policies in the Older Adults Toolkit :
Provide Accessible, Safe, and Affordable Homes
Build or Modify Homes to Universal Design or Visitability Standards
Weatherize Homes to Improve Energy-Efficiency and Reduce Utility Costs
Create and Preserve a Range of Affordable Housing Options
Improve Access to Social Services and Transportation Options
Connecting Existing Homes with Social Services
Provide Affordable and Accessible Transportation Options
Support Housing Models Geared to Older Adults
Expand the Supply of Affordable Supportive Housing
Offer Adult Foster Care to Provide Services in Private Residences
Build Mutual Support through Creation of Cohousing Communities
All roles in the Disaster-Resistant Housing Toolkit : Promote “Smarter and Safer” Building and Rehabilitation Practices Improve Community Regulations and Planning Strategies Finance Efforts to Make Homes More Resistant to Natural Disasters Link Efforts to Improve Disaster Resistance and Energy Efficiency All roles on Foreclosure-Response.org Understand Why Foreclosures Matter Develop a Coordinated Response Strategy Prevent Foreclosure, Keep Families in Their Homes Secure and Maintain Vacant Properties Help Bring Foreclosed Properties Back Into Use Help Owner and Renter Families Recover
The policies that fulfill each role in the Toolbox contain lessons learned, case studies, analysis, and key resources. Click on any of these to learn about each policy and see case studies
Handy tools for feedback, printing, and e-mailing ↓ Click on unfamiliar terms to open the glossary ↓ See examples of housing policies Footnote
Clickable heading to move back to the main pages Breadcrumb trail to show you where you are Outline of this policy section
Special Icons These icons appear in the upper right corner of every page of HousingPolicy.org: Click on the lightbulb to submit feedback, ideas, or examples to help us improve and expand the coverage of HousingPolicy.org. Click on the printer icon for the option to print either the current page or, in the Toolbox section, the entire policy section. Click on the envelope icon to email the page you are viewing to a friend or colleague.
The Building a Strategy section describes how to put individual policies together to form a comprehensive housing strategy. The first 4 boxes cover the essentials of building a comprehensive housing strategy: Learn about the connections between housing policy and other key social goals. ↑ Find profiles of housing plans from around the country. Jump to the complete text of this section.
Topics covered in the Building a Strategy section:
What is a comprehensive housing strategy?
Why does my community need one?
Who is responsible for preparing it?
Don’t we already have a comprehensive housing strategy?
What problems should a housing strategy address?
What data and analysis are needed to inform the goals-setting process?
How do we develop specific policy objectives for our housing strategy?
Do we need specific numerical goals?
Creating a Plan
Assembling a housing taskforce
Gathering and analyzing information
Evaluating existing policies and programs
Developing recommendations for new and improved policies and programs
Targeting state and local funding
Ingredients for Success
Twelve ingredients for success
Housing Plan Profiles
Alphabetical List of Profiles
Find Plans by Jurisdiction Type
Find Plans by Scope: Broad or Focused
Connections Between Housing and Other Policy Areas
Improving educational outcomes for our children
Improving health outcomes for children and families
Improving standards of living for working families
Improving livability and reducing sprawl
The Gallery of Affordable Homes showcases images of attractive, affordable homes throughout the country. Browse all images, or search the Gallery
Visit the clickable map of policies by state to look for examples in your area.
Got an idea for HousingPolicy.org? Contact us! Your feedback is the key to making this site a valuable tool for communities nationwide. To submit feedback, click on the light bulb in the upper right of any page, the Contact Us link in the lower left of any page, or just send an email to [email_address] . Click on Join HousingPolicy.org at the bottom right of any page to sign up for updates. HousingPolicy.org is developed and maintained by the Center for Housing Policy , the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference . Questions? Contact us at www.HousingPolicy.org .