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About Local Housing Solutions
Local Housing Solutions is a one-stop housing policy platform with actionable resources and step-by-step guidance to help cities develop, implement, and monitor local housing strategies. Developed for policymakers and practitioners, LHS presents a rich set of resources to support the development of comprehensive, balanced, and equitable housing strategies that enhance affordability, protect low-income residents from displacement and unsafe conditions, and foster inclusive neighborhoods.
LHS recognizes that housing policies at the local, regional, state, and federal level have a role in creating and maintaining racial and economic disparities. Through its approach and the resources it shares, LHS provides local stakeholders with the information they need to identify and adopt housing policies that reduce these disparities, advance opportunity, and promote racial equityEquity is both the process and the outcome that occurs when practices or policies intentionally remedy or counteract previous practices and policies that disparately impacted some demographic groups..
Launched in October of 2018, the non-partisan website was developed through the National Community of Practice (CoP) on Local Housing Policy, a project of the NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates. (Read the key findings of the CoP.) Its materials are designed to be easily accessible and actionable to users at all experience levels from localities of different sizes, market conditions, and with different levels of resources and capacities throughout the United States.
Local Housing Solutions approach
- Local Housing Solutions was developed through a Community of Practice comprised of many of the nation’s leading housing experts and practitioners. A core working group met intensively over a period of two years to inform the structure and content of the website. A national advisory council provided additional input and feedback, helping to ensure the guidance reflects a broad range of views and experiences.
- It provides step-by-step guidance on how cities, towns, and counties can develop comprehensive local housing strategies, including guidance on analyzing local housing needs, identifying housing policy objectives, selecting and implementing housing policies, and balancing competing needs and interests.
- Unlike most other guides that focus on a limited number of policy options, Local Housing Solutions provides guidance on the full array of housing policy tools available to local government, including: planning, zoning, tax, permitting, city/county subsidy, and housing authority tools.
- It offers a housing policy framework outlining four distinct dimensions of an effective local housing strategy.
- It is designed to be used by cities, towns, and counties of different sizes and different levels of resources and capacity.
- It includes a series of brief videos on the basics of local housing policy.
The Local Housing Solutions Team welcomes feedback on how to strengthen the website as well as inquiries from organizations and municipalities interested in exploring ways to partner to facilitate the development of strong local housing strategies. Please provide feedback on the content of a particular page using the “How useful was this page?” rating at the bottom of each brief. Contact us to share broader feedback.
The Community of Practice on Local Housing Strategies is a collaborative project of the NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates.
Founded in 1965, Abt Associates is a mission-driven global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, climate change, and international development. Abt Associates is today known as a bold, innovative, and effective agent of social change committed to improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide. The impact of their ongoing work in nearly 50 countries is significant and wide ranging. Their global staff of more than 2,300 people conducts innovative studies and implements remarkable projects.
NYU Furman Center
Founded in 1995, the NYU Furman Center is a joint center of the New York University School of Law and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service which advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy. The NYU Furman Center provides objective academic and empirical research on the legal and public policy issues involving land use, real estate, housing, and urban affairs in the United States, promotes frank and productive discussions about critical issues in land use, real estate, and urban policy, and presents essential data and analysis about the state of New York City’s housing and neighborhoods to those involved in land use, real estate development, community economic development, housing, urban economics, and urban policy.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, NYU Furman Center
Jeffrey Lubell, Abt Associates
Mark A. Willis, NYU Furman Center
Kimberly Burnett, Abt Associates
Charles McNally, NYU Furman Center
Stephen Whitlow, Abt Associates
CoP core working group
Rafael Cestero, The Community Preservation Corporation
Sheila Dillon, City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development
Rick Gentry, San Diego Housing Authority
Con Howe, CityView
Rick Jacobus, Street Level Advisors
Robin Kniech, Denver City Council (Council Member, At-Large)
Linda Mandolini, Eden Housing
Chrishelle Palay, Texas Low-Income Housing Information Services
Melinda Pollack, Enterprise Community Partners
Raul Raymundo, The Resurrection Project
Gary Rodney, NYC Housing Development Corporation
Tony Salazar, McCormack Baron Salazar
Denise Scott, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Sheryl Whitney, Whitney Jennings Consulting
American Planning Association
Center for American Progress
Center for Popular Democracy
Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
Council of State Community Development Agencies
Enterprise Community Partners
Grounded Solutions Network
Habitat for Humanity
Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Housing Partnership Network
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)
National Apartment Association
National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders (NAAHL)
National Association of Counties
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)
National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies
National Association of Realtors (NAR)
National Community Development Association
National Council of State Housing Agencies
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Housing Conference
National Housing Trust
National League of Cities
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Multifamily Housing Council
National Resources Defense Council
National Urban League (NUL)
Opportunity Finance Network
Partnership for Working Families
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Public Housing Authorities Directors Association
Smart Growth America
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF)
U.S. Conference of Mayors
Urban Land Institute – Terwilliger Center and the Rose Center
Funding for the CoP has generously been provided by the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Kresge Foundation and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation provide continued funding for Local Housing Solutions. The Local Housing Solutions Institute receives support from the Arthur M. Blank Foundation. The Housing Solutions Lab receives support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All opinions expressed are those of the NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.
Special reports and events
The Local Housing Solutions Institute
Announced in April 2019, the Institute’s competitive application process generated over 20 proposals from cities and counties across the country. After a careful review process, the NYU Furman Center and Abt Associates announced the selection of Atlanta, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and San Antonio as the inaugural LHS Institute cohort. Each of these cities has demonstrated their commitment to local housing policy and each bring distinct approaches and challenges to the table. The first Institute was held in September 2019, with plans for additional cohorts in future years as funds permit.
White Paper: Gaps and opportunities in the provision of education, training, and technical assistance on local housing policy
In October 2020, Abt Associates and the NYU Furman Center facilitated a virtual convening to discuss how to strengthen the provider ecosystem so that local governments and other local stakeholders have the information and tools needed to develop more effective local housing strategies. Convening participants included a mix of: (a) providers of education, training, and TA on local housing policy, and (b) funders, policy experts, and others with a strong interest in strengthening the overall ecosystem of supports for local housing officials and practitioners.
We are pleased to share with you all the final updated white paper that reflects the input provided during the convening along with the annotated provider list. This white paper examines the different ways education, training, and technical assistance (TA) on local housing policy are provided to local governments, identifies gaps in the delivery system for these services, and proposes options for strengthening the overall delivery system.