Feedback    Print    Email
<< back

                                                                             NOTE: This is an archived page - click here to view the current edition of In Focus
In Focus

August 2008 - Rental Housing Preservation

Photo Credit: John Booz, Courtesy of Valerie Denney Communications

In the Toolbox

This issue of In Focus features policies that promote the preservation of affordable rental homes – an approach that has grown in importance as production of new affordable units has slowed and hundreds of thousands of existing subsidized and unassisted units remain at risk of loss.  Preservation of rental properties provides stability for the families that live in these homes and the neighborhoods in which they are located, and ensures the ongoing availability of affordable homes that would not likely be replaced through new construction.

In some cases, affordable rental homes may be located near public transit or job centers – areas that have become increasingly attractive as gas prices continue to climb.  Preservation initiatives keep housing in these neighborhoods accessible to working families, helping to reduce their transportation costs and energy consumption. 

Preservation projects may also involve upgrading or renovating outdated building systems to improve energy efficiency and achieve “green” certification [see Featured Gallery Entry].  These improvements can result in substantial reductions in energy use and associated costs.  Finally, the preservation of existing buildings uses fewer raw materials and requires less energy than new construction.  For these reasons, the preservation of affordable rental homes is one of Six Housing Policies for a World of High Energy Costs.

Learn More About the Preservation of Affordable Rental Homes

"Out Loud" Podcast's monthly Out Loud podcast series focuses on noteworthy housing policy solutions being implemented at the state and local levels. In this month's podcast we hear from Mike Pitchford, President and CEO of the Community Development and Preservation Corporation (CPDC).  CPDC specializes in the rehabilitation and preservation of affordable rental homes in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan region, and Pitchford talks about the importance – and environmental benefits – of preservation.

Special guest Angie Skildum, Research and Policy Director at the Family Housing Fund in Minneapolis, MN, joins us to talk about the Interagency Stabilization Group, a collaborative initiative that brings together public and private sector funding partners to facilitate the preservation of affordable rental homes in the Twin Cities.

Listen to the podcast

Solutions in Action

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s $150 million Window of Opportunity initiative promotes investment in rental housing preservation by providing funding to public programs and mission-driven developers engaged in preservation activity across the country, as well as those undertaking the research and analysis that help to inform their efforts.  Through the initiative, the Foundation will also make available an additional $35 million to support public-private partnerships in selected states and localities and bring about the preservation of one million rental homes over the next 10 years.

As part of the initiative, resources on the importance of preservation and recent accomplishments and innovations in the field have been collected from MacArthur grantees and other organizations.  As of August 2008, these materials will be housed on, and have also been incorporated throughout the section of the site that addresses the preservation of affordable rental homes.  The newly-available resources include a preservation image gallery and an array of recent reports and news articles.

Learn More About the Window of Opportunity

What's Your Story?

The September issue of In Focus will focus on inclusionary zoning policies, which require or provide incentives for the inclusion of a modest share of affordable units in new market-rate construction.  We are interested in learning more about how localities are tailoring their inclusionary zoning policies to reflect local conditions.  Has your community adopted an inclusionary policy?  Do you have examples of how inclusionary zoning has helped low- and moderate-income families to access neighborhoods near public transit?
Send us information on challenges you overcame in getting the policy adopted, policy elements that have been most effective in stimulating new development, or results that have been achieved and you may be featured in the next edition of In Focus !

Share your story!


Did a colleague forward this newsletter to you? Keep In Focus coming to your inbox by joining today! Sign up to keep receiving this newsletter and to receive periodic updates about the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Policy.

Sign up here

New Resources on Renters in Foreclosure

Many renters are at risk of eviction if their property faces foreclosure-- regardless of whether or not they paid their rent on a timely and regular basis.  To raise the profile of this growing problem, the National Low Income Housing Coalition has released a compendium of resources on their website featuring the latest research on renters in foreclosure.  The site includes a document listing, several articles, publications, videos and presentations on foreclosure and eviction practices for renters organized by state and locality.

Learn More About Renters in Foreclosure

Featured Gallery Entry:

Galen Terrace, Washington, DC

Photo courtesy of National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation


July 2008-- In Focus: Shared Equity Homeownership
June 2008 -- In Focus: 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 -- In Focus: Foreclosure Prevention
April 2008 -- In Focus: Employer-Assisted Housing
February 2008
-- was launched in January 2008 as part of Housing Solutions Week. Click here to view materials from the week.