Increasing the affordability of rental housing
There are many approaches that cities, towns, and counties can use to increase the availability of affordable rental housing. In fact, the majority of policy tools in the Housing Policy Library work to advance this very goal. This brief describes how policies in each of the four main categories in the Housing Policy Library can be used to address rental affordability challenges.
Preserving the existing stock of dedicated affordable rental housing
Most cities, towns, and counties have substantial numbers of units of dedicated affordable rental housing produced by HUD programs between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s and by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit since the late 1980s. Many of these units are potentially at risk of being lost from the inventory of dedicated affordable rental housing due to expiring affordability restrictions that allow owners to decline to renew their participation, or options for owners to opt out of subsidy programs midstream. Dedicated affordable housing may also be in deteriorating physical condition that renders it uninhabitable or leads to occupancy problems that cause the property to fail financially. This brief describes how policies in the Housing Policy Library can be used to keep these units available over the long term.
Preserving the existing stock of market affordable rental housing
Most lower-income households live in homes that are affordable by virtue of their age, condition, location, or other characteristics. These “market affordable” homes do not receive a government subsidy that lowers rents and are not otherwise subject to a regulatory agreement that controls both rents and tenant incomes. Preserving as much as possible of the market affordable stock can be an important objective of any local housing strategy.