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 includes robust community engagement efforts, 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.
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.
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.
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-rich neighborhoods. Learn more about addressing neighborhood disparities.
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.
Resources on building public support
List of selected publications, organizations, and initiatives focused on public opinion research and messaging on affordable housing and housing subsidy programs, including brief descriptions and links. Learn more about resources on building public support.
Profiles of local housing strategies
These profiles provide overviews of comprehensive and balanced housing strategies in a number of U.S. cities. Access the housing strategy profiles now.
Housing policy case studies
This housing policy case study library includes a variety of case studies featuring innovative housing policies implemented in cities throughout the United States. Access the case study library now.