Feedback    Print    Email In Focus

September 2011 - Sustainable and Equitable Development

In the Toolbox

This issue of In Focus features a newly available guide on, which describes strategies and policy tools that communities can use to help preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities near transit, jobs, schools, retail and other amenities – areas where transportation costs are likely to be low. By targeting affordable housing efforts in location-efficient and amenity-rich neighborhoods, communities can help reduce families' overall expenditures on housing and transportation.

The toolkit features the following five policy sections:

Promote compact development patterns describes land use and zoning tools that can be used to foster higher-density and mixed-use development.

Create a supportive regulatory framework covers changes to parking requirements, impact fee schedules, and other regulatory and administrative processes to streamline the development process in location-efficient areas.

Gain control of well-located land provides an overview of how property acquisition funds, land banks, and other tools can be used to secure location-efficient sites for affordable housing while land costs are still low.

Use value capture to build on market momentum outlines tools that leverage new growth and development to support creation of affordable homes in well-located areas.

Preserve and extend affordability describes ways to preserve existing affordable homes and ensure that very low-income families have housing opportunities today and over the long-term in areas undergoing investment in new transit systems and other infrastructure.

Explore the Guide

"Out Loud" Podcast

This month's Out Loud podcast features an interview with Lynn Ross, Chief Operating Officer at the National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy. Ms. Ross describes the upcoming Solutions for Sustainable Communities conference, which will take place in Washington, D.C. on September 26-28. The conference will focus on state and local housing policy, and its interaction with activities at the federal level, and will emphasize the intersections between housing, transportation and energy policy. Ms. Ross mentions several features that set this conference apart from others, including the wide range of educational sessions, facilitated discussions and robust networking opportunities.

Listen to the Podcast

Solutions in Action

The City of Minneapolis' Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) administers the Higher Density Corridor Housing Program (HDCHP) to acquire and hold land intended for mixed-income multifamily rental or homeownership development on sites located near jobs, transit and other amenities. This program gives developers and other interested parties time to secure the financing needed to make the proposed projects a reality; CPED covers the costs associated with acquiring and holding the property, including taxes, title work, and property management expenses. Since the program's inception in 2005, 16 sites have been purchased along transit corridors in Minneapolis, and the City has expended more than $4.7 million in HDCHP funds.

Learn More about this Solution in Action

Solutions for Sustainable Communities

Join the National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy this September 26-28 for the Solutions for Sustainable Communities conference. This two-and-a-half -day conference on state and local housing policy is geared towards policymakers, developers, affordable housing advocates, smart growth and sustainability experts, and others, and features hands-on networking and information sharing, panel session and facilitated discussions on proven solutions to stretch scarce resources.

Register for the conference on-site in Washington, DC!

Share Your Story

What strategies can be adopted to increase affordable housing opportunities in areas near planned or expanding transit services? How can local governments prevent low- and moderate-income families from being priced out of these areas that will likely face increases in property values?

Join our Transit-Oriented Development discussion group on the Forum to respond to this question or add your own. Share your experiences with fellow housing practitioners across the country!

Visit the Forum to Share Your Story


Did a colleague forward this newsletter to you? Keep In Focus coming to your inbox by joining today! Signing up will also keep you in loop about other National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy news and events.

Sign Up Online

Featured Gallery Entry:

Saltillo Lofts, Austin, TX

Saltillo Lofts
Courtesy of MassHousing


July 2011:
Housing Affordability
May 2011:
Housing for Older Adults
March 2011: Foreclosure Response
February 2011: Shared Equity Homeownership
November 2010: Employer-Assisted Housing
September 2010:
Rental Housing Preservation
July 2010:
Improve Residential Energy Efficiency
May 2010:
Disaster Resistant Housing
April 2010:
Housing Solutions Week Recap
December 2009: Coordinated Housing and Transportation Policies
September 2009:
Shared Equity Homeownership and Asset Building
July 2009:
Post-Conference Edition
April 2009: Learning Conference
March 2009: Neighborhood Stabilization
December 2008: Neighborhood Stabilization
November 2008: Neighborhood Stabilization
October 2008: Transit-Oriented Development
September 2008: Inclusionary Zoning
August 2008: Rental Housing Preservation
July 2008: Shared Equity Homeownership
June 2008:Green Affordable Housing -- This issue of In Focus kicked off a series of Six Housing Policies for a World of High Energy Costs
May 2008:Foreclosure Prevention
April 2008:Employer-Assisted Housing
February 2008
-- was launched in January 2008 as part of Housing Solutions Week. Click here to view materials from the week.