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Prepare and implement an effective local housing strategy

A comprehensive local housing strategy provides a guiding framework that identifies and coordinates key policy tools to achieve the locality’s objectives. 

Often documented in a written plan, a comprehensive housing strategy includes, at a minimum, three elements: an articulation of the locality’s housing policy objectives, a robust set of policy tools that draw on the capacities of multiple local agencies, and measurable goals to allow the locality to monitor its progress over time.

Optimally, a locality’s housing strategy will be grounded in a thorough understanding of its needs and solid engagement with community residents and representatives from all relevant departments and agencies. The links below offer guidance on how to develop an effective local housing strategy.


What is a local housing strategy and why is it important?

A local housing strategy can help promote coordination across agencies and sectors, align funding sources and policy initiatives, and build political support to achieve affordable housing goals and related objectives. This brief discusses what a local housing strategy is and why it is important.

Local housing policy: Why it matters

This brief explores how local policy levers can affect housing outcomes and reviews the evidence that housing is fundamental to health, racial equity, and well-being, and has important spillovers for neighborhoods and local economies. 

Strategy design

Key steps to develop a local housing strategy

This brief provides an overview of the three phases of the local housing strategy development process, with an emphasis on potential players and the stakeholders that should be involved. 

A roadmap for success

Phase A: Lay the groundwork for a successful local housing strategy

Phase B: Prepare a local housing strategy

This brief outlines the steps involved in the second phase of the local housing strategy development process: preparing the local housing strategy. This infographic outlines the main steps in Phase B. Additional resources that can help you navigate Phase B include: materials on comprehensiveness and balance and establishing goals for and monitoring the progress of a local housing strategy. 

Phase C: Monitor and update a local housing strategy

This brief outlines the third and final phase of the housing strategy development process, which occurs after a local housing strategy has been prepared.

Key considerations in developing a local housing strategy

Taking a balanced approach to new development

Cities, towns, and counties should support the creation and preservation of dedicated affordable housing as well as remove barriers to the development of new market-rate housingLearn more about taking a balanced approach to new development.

Understanding neighborhood variation to inform a local housing strategy

Addressing segregation by income, race, and ethnicity

A number of housing policy tools can help communities 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.

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. This brief reviews the legal frameworks governing housing initiatives that address racial disparities.

Developing an anti-displacement strategy

Rising rents and 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.

Engaging stakeholders and partners

Engaging the community in the development of a local housing strategy

Why and how should local officials engage the community in the development of a local housing strategy? Learn about community engagement approaches.

Conducting virtual community engagement

Collaborating with PHAs to achieve shared housing goals

Cities and public housing agencies (PHAs) can collaborate on projects related to shared housing goals. This brief outlines some of the opportunities available for partnerships

Facilitating collaboration between cities and counties

In some jurisdictions, city and county governments have distinct responsibilities for addressing housing needs, a relationship that can sometimes be challenging to navigate. Learn how jurisdictions can improve city-county collaboration.

Working with philanthropy in the development of local housing strategies

Partnering with philanthropic organizations can bring immense value to local housing strategies. This brief offers insights on how to effectively engage them

Engaging nonprofit organizations in local housing programs

Non-profit organizations often provide essential housing-related services. They can also offer valuable insights on a locality’s housing programs. Learn more about working with nonprofits

Engaging employers in local housing strategies

Employers can help communities expand housing availability by supporting affordable housing development and policies, providing input on local housing needs, and exploring employer-assisted housing programsLearn more about the ways localities can engage employers in their planning.

Considering the regional context

Addressing housing challenges on a regional basis

The role of states in shaping local housing strategies

The state policy framework directly affects the options available to localities. Learn more about the role of states in shaping local housing strategies.

Coordinating with a Continuum of Care (CoC) as part of a local housing strategy

Homelessness has become a significant issue nationwide. This means cities of all sizes must prioritize addressing it as part of their local housing strategy. Learn how localities can coordinate efforts with Continuums of Care (CoCs) to do this effectively. 

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