Preserve Affordable Rental Homes

What is rental housing preservation? Rental housing preservation policies seek to ensure the continued, long-term availability of quality affordable rental homes — an essential part of the housing stock for working families, the elderly, people with a disability, and others. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of subsidized rentals, affordable to low- and moderate-income households, … Read more

Create and Expand Downpayment Assistance

What is downpayment assistance? Downpayment assistance programs are a tool for state and local governments to expand homeownership opportunities for moderate-income families and individuals. These programs work by providing assistance with downpayments. With this assistance, people can take out mortgages with lower payments. This makes homeownership possible for families that would otherwise have been unable … Read more

Set Standards and Offer Incentives

Similar to building and rehab codes, which lay out design and construction specifications to achieve minimum levels of building safety, energy codes (which are a subset of building codes) detail standardized measures intended to achieve minimum levels of energy efficiency in new homes and existing buildings undergoing substantial rehabilitation. Adoption of an energy code helps … Read more

Point-of-Sale Efficiency Upgrades and Audit Requirements

  Policy tools described in this section use the sale of a new or existing home as a “trigger” for a range of energy-efficiency-related requirements. Whether the goal is to catalyze upgrades in older homes or to promote greater consumer awareness of building performance (which may indirectly lead to more energy-efficiency upgrades), these tools are … Read more

Promote Sustainable and Equitable Development Overview

What do we mean by “sustainable and equitable” development? In recent years, a variety of factors have converged to push sustainable, equitable development to the top of the policy agenda. These include increased awareness of the environmental consequences of lengthy commutes and greenhouse gas emissions; a growing recognition that housing affordability is measured not just … Read more

Stimulate Construction and Rehabilitation through Tax Abatements

What are tax abatements? Communities that offer tax abatements or exemptions agree to eliminate tax increases or otherwise reduce property taxes for specific properties for a designated period of time in order to stimulate a specified public benefit. In the housing sector, real estate tax abatements or exemptions are most commonly used to provide a … Read more

Zoning and Land Use Strategies That Support Affordable Housing

Zoning was introduced in the early twentieth century to protect public health and safety by segregating incompatible land uses. Today, large-lot zoning and prohibitions on multi-family housing, duplexes, and townhouses continue to be major impediments to affordable housing development. Flexibility in land use regulation can create housing choices, reduce cost, and provide more efficient resource … Read more

Looking for Affordable Housing? has been created as a resource for state and local leaders and others interested in developing stronger housing policies. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide direct assistance to individuals and families looking for affordable homes. We recommend contacting your state’s housing finance agency to learn about opportunities that are available in your community. A … Read more

Keynote Speakers

Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy provided participants with the opportunity to hear from well-known keynote speakers throughout the event. The plenary sessions were among the many highlights of the conference and we are pleased to provide audio recordings of those sessions below: Listen to the Welcoming Remarks … Read more

Final Program

Click the image to download the final program for Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy. Participants chose from training workshops, panel discussions, peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Download speaker bios Listen to the Keynote Presentations Access Conference Resources View Event Images Download the final agenda for the Foreclosure Institute Download … Read more