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A comprehensive local housing strategy provides a guiding framework for cities, towns, and counties to identify and coordinate the many policy tools and stakeholders that will be required to make substantial progress toward meeting their housing needs.
An effective strategy utilizes an equitable planning process and sets equitable goals at the local level through robust community engagement efforts that respect the perspectives and lived experiences of community residents, input from representatives from all of the departments and agencies that make housing-related policy decisions, and mechanisms to monitor and measure progress towards numerical goals as implementation goes forward.
While each community will structure these activities in different ways depending on the local context, the links below provide big-picture guidance on how to approach the process of developing a local housing strategy:
What is a local housing strategy and why is it important
Overview of the purpose and benefits of a local housing strategy, including discussion of the role a strategy can play in promoting coordination across agencies and sectors, aligning funding sources and policy initiatives, and building political support to achieve affordable housing goals and related objectives. Learn more about what a local housing strategy is and why it is important.
Key steps to develop a local housing strategy
Developing a local housing strategy is a time- and resource-intensive process. This brief summarizes the basic elements that should be included in a local housing strategy and provides guidance on the range of mechanisms that you can use/employ to prepare a comprehensive housing strategy in-house. Learn about the key steps to developing a local housing strategy.
Comprehensiveness and balance—key attributes of a local housing strategy
It’s important for local housing strategies to be both comprehensive and balanced. Comprehensive strategies encompass a wide range of tools from a broad array of local agencies. Balanced approaches appropriately balance different approaches for increasing housing affordability. Learn more about comprehensiveness and balance.
Establishing goals for a local housing strategy and monitoring progress
When developing a local housing strategy, cities, towns, and counties should identify high-level, meaningful goals that enable them and the general public to track the jurisdiction’s overall progress in achieving its housing policy objectives. Furthermore, monitoring these goals will help localities assess progress and achieve their policy objectives. Learn more about establishing goals for and monitoring the progress of a local housing strategy.
Addressing housing challenges on a regional basis
Conducting virtual community engagement
Addressing segregation by income, race, and ethnicity
Overview of how communities can use affordable housing tools to help overcome economic, racial, and ethnic segregation that impedes access to resource-richA term to define neighborhoods that offer abundant amenities, such as access to quality schools and public libraries, streets and parks that are free from violence and provide a safe place to play, and fresh and healthy food. neighborhoods. Learn more about addressing neighborhood disparities.
Understanding neighborhood variation to inform a local housing strategy
Understanding variation across neighborhoods in a city, town, or county is important for creating a local housing strategy that addresses the unique housing issues affecting each neighborhood. Learn more about understanding neighborhood variation to inform a local housing strategy.
Taking a balanced approach to new development
Preserving and expanding the supply of dedicated affordable housing is critical, but research evidence shows that allowing the broader housing market to respond to increased demand with new construction is also essential to constrain housing prices in cities, towns, and counties facing rising rents and prices. This brief reviews that evidence and also underscores what a robust supply of market rate housing will not accomplish. The paper concludes that cities, towns, and counties should adopt a balanced approach that both supports the creation and preservation of dedicated affordable housing and removes barriers to new development for all income levels. Learn more about taking a balanced approach to new development.
Understanding legal frameworks to address racial disparities and discrimination
Segregation and its harmful effects persist in cities across the United States, as a result of decades of discrimination by all levels of government and the private sector. These issues drive disparate outcomes in many areas, including health, education, homeownership, and homelessness. This brief reviews the legal frameworks governing housing initiatives that address racial disparities.
Developing an anti-displacement strategy
Rising rents or property taxes can make it difficult or impossible for families to afford to remain in their homes. Learn more about developing an anti-displacement strategy.
The role of states in shaping local housing strategies
While a full review of state housing policy is beyond the scope of Local Housing Solutions, there are many aspects of state housing policy that can enable, inhibit, and/or generally influence the development of local housing strategies. State actions can be especially important for smaller cities and counties with smaller budgets and administrative capacity to develop, adopt, and implement comprehensive housing strategies on their own. Learn more about the role of states in shaping local housing strategies.
Engaging the community in the development of a local housing strategy
Promoting interagency engagement and collaboration in the development of a local housing strategy
Guidance on structuring the planning process to include local leadership and representatives from the full range of agencies that are directly or indirectly involved in providing, regulating, or supporting. Learn more about interagency collaboration.
Collaborating with PHAs to achieve shared housing goals
The assets of cities and public housing agencies (PHAs) are complementary, providing opportunities to partner on a range of projects. This brief outlines opportunities for cities and PHAs to partner on shared housing goals. Learn more about PHA-city collaboration.
Facilitating collaboration between cities and counties
In some jurisdictions, city and county governments have distinct responsibilities for addressing housing needs within the same geography. This relationship can sometimes be challenging to navigate, but a thoughtful city-county partnership can help both entities advance their housing goals. Learn more about city-county collaboration.
Working with philanthropy in the development of local housing strategies
Philanthropic organizations can be helpful partners to cities, towns, and counties working to develop a local housing strategy. This brief discusses the benefits of working with philanthropic organizations and how localities can engage them in supporting the development and implementation of a housing strategy. Learn more about working with philanthropy.
Engaging nonprofit organizations in local housing programs
Engaging employers in local housing strategies
Working with a consultant to develop a local housing strategy
When developing a local housing strategy, cities, towns, and counties can choose to conduct all of the work required to develop the strategy in-house or hire one or more consultants to provide technical support or additional capacity. Learn more about working with a consultant to develop a local housing strategy.