The U.S. housing affordability crisis now affects every metropolitan area in the country, and the forces shaping this crisis are bigger than any single city or county. Yet local governments have a crucial role to play in addressing housing issues.
This brief takes a closer look at empirical evidence to understand why local housing policy matters. First, we review the evidence that housing is fundamental to health, racial equity, and well-being, and has important spillovers for neighborhoods and local economies. Second, we explore whether and how local policy levers can affect housing. In doing so, this brief aims to equip stakeholders to take action at the local level to improve housing outcomes in their communities, and to provide a starting point for future research.