State and Local Solutions for Expanding the Availability of Homes for Working Families


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June 2008 keynote presentation at ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean's "Workforce Housing: Strategies for Today’s Market"

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State and Local Solutions for Expanding the Availability of Homes for Working Families

  1. 1. State and Local Solutions forExpanding the Availability ofHomes for Working Families ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean Ft. Lauderdale, June 2008 Lynn M. Ross, AICP Director of State and Local Initiatives
  2. 2. National Housing ConferenceFor more than 75 years, the nonprofit National Housing Conference (NHC) has been the United Voice for Housing.A membership drawn from every industry segment forms the foundation for NHC’s broad, nonpartisan advocacy for national policies and legislation Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at 2006 NHC Housing Policy that promote suitable housing in a Summit safe, decent environment.
  3. 3. Center for Housing Policy Research affiliate of NHC specializes in developing solutions through research Works to broaden understanding of the nation’s housing challenges and to examine the impact of policies and programs developed to address these needs.
  4. 4. Expanded State and LocalStrategy Increasing the Availability of Affordable Homes: A Handbook of High-impact State and Local Solutions  Released in January 2007  Foundation for larger strategy  Online guide to state and local housing policy  Launched January 2008
  5. 5. Why State and Local Policy?  Housing costs, needs and challenges vary substantially from place to place.  Some of the most pressing policy changes can only be effectively implemented at the local and state levels.  Major federal funding increases for affordable homes unlikely  Federal policies often inflexible
  6. 6. 6 Key Roles for Localities andStates 1. Expand Development Opportunities 2. Reduce Red Tape 3. Capitalize on Market Activity 4. Generate Capital 5. Preserve and Recycle Resources 6. Help Residents Succeed
  7. 7. 1. Expand DevelopmentOpportunities  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
  8. 8. Solutions in Action—Elm BrookHomes in Concord, MA  Suburban infill project designed for 80 to 140% AMI  Land rezoned for affordable housing  Developer was also able to obtain a zoning amendment that allowed increased density and flexible set-back standards.
  9. 9. 2. 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
  10. 10. Solutions in Action—Villas onSixth in Austin, TX  Designed to be in compliance with Austins S.M.A.R.T. Housing Initiative, a self- funded program that uses expedited review and fee waivers to stimulate the production of affordable homes.  S.M.A.R.T. = safe, mixed- income, accessible, reasonably priced, and transit-oriented
  11. 11. 3. 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
  12. 12. Solutions in Action—MuseumPlace in Portland, OR  Range of tax abatement programs  As of FY06-07, over 13,000 homes received one of these abatements  Issued $30 million in taxable and tax-exempt bonds and 10- year tax abatement to finance and sustain mixed-used development
  13. 13. 4. Generate Capital  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
  14. 14. Solutions in Action—Via Roble inEscondido, CA  CA HFA HELP program-- local governments get unsecured 10- year loan @ 3.5 % interest rate,  $160 million to support development of more than 19,000 affordable rental and owner- occupied homes statewide  Via Roble-- $1.85 million award to Escondido to assist with site acquisition, development and rehabilitation
  15. 15. 5. Preserve and RecycleResources  Preserve Affordable Rental Homes  Recycle Downpayment Assistance  Use Shared Equity Mechanisms to Preserve Homeownership Subsidies
  16. 16. Solutions in Action—Townhomeson Capitol Hill in Washington, DC  Redeveloped with $25 million HOPE VI grant  Purchase price based on income; structured as limited equity cooperative  33 units affordable to households with 24 percent or less of AMI; 34 units affordable to households with 25-50 percent of AMI; 67 units affordable to households with 50-115 percent of AMI; 13 fee-simple, market rate townhomes
  17. 17. 6. Help Residents Succeed  Expand Homeownership Education and Counseling  Prevent Foreclosures and Help Affected Renters and Owners
  18. 18. Solutions in Action—ForeclosurePrevention in Chicago, IL  Chicagos Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (HOPI)-- one-stop approach to foreclosure prevention  Counseling and research efforts to prevent foreclosures now, reduce foreclosure risk in the future, and mitigate the damage foreclosures can cause  Initiative prevented over 1,300 foreclosures in its first three years
  19. 19. Got an idea for 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 anypage, the Contact Us link in the lower left of any page, or just send an email to Click on Join at the bottom right of any page to sign up for In Focus—the monthly e-newsletter.
  20. 20. What’s Next? Regional Forums Peer Network of State and Local Housing Groups Solutions for Working Families  Major Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy  Chicago, June 28-30, 2009  Planning Committee: APA; NACo; NCSL; NLC; Lincoln; CSG; and others Advisory Services (in development)
  21. 21. Thank You! National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy 1801 K Street, NW, Suite M-100 Washington, DC 2006 Phone: 202.466.2121 ext. 237 Email:
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