Policy

The rules of the game—and the attitudes of the players—have an enormous effect on community development work at all levels. Here we look at some of the conversations about how to shift that policy for the better.

Philly’s 1970s Fight to Revive Rent Control

As rent control reemerges as a strategy to address an intense housing crisis, we go back 50 years to examine the lessons learned from past struggles in Philadelphia.

Doing Their Duty: Should Fannie, Freddie Invest More in Underserved Markets?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under a congressional mandate to improve investment in three specific kinds of housing markets—but Congress didn’t say by how much, and advocates say they could be doing far more.

Afghan Refugees Face an American Housing Crisis

Resettlement agencies have been racing to house tens of thousands of Afghan refugees in communities across the U.S., but high housing costs and a shortage of available units is making it more difficult than ever.

What’s the Best Way to Judge How Well a City’s Housing Policies Improve Health?

CityHealth revamps its housing medal criteria, shifts away from inclusionary zoning to flexible funding and tenant protections. “We realized there is no singular policy intervention that can address the whole of affordable housing.”
Young female volunteer in mask gives an elderly man boxes with food near his house. Quarantined, isolated.

Blame Policies, Not Places, for Poor Health

Shifting blame from people to ZIP codes is not enough to create healthy communities. Here’s how to do better.

Minor Defendants: Kids Are Being Named in Evictions

When landlords name minor children in eviction filings, the negative effects could haunt them years later.

As Rent Relief Efforts Drag on, Treasury is Redistributing Funds

“This is not about reward and punishment … It’s about speeding up effective relief for families in need of housing security and eviction protection.”

Making Inclusionary Housing Programs a Force for Racial Equity

Three city administrators go beyond the press releases to talk about what it really takes to make an inclusionary housing requirement serve households of color.

How to Make Universal Vouchers Actually Work

If Congress gave the Housing Choice Voucher program enough money to serve every income-eligible applicant, what other reforms would be needed so every voucher recipient could find a decent home in a suitable area?

New Public Housing? HUD Has Found a Way

For decades, the number of public housing units across the U.S. has been shrinking. But within the limits of the law and funding, HUD has figured out a way to get back some of the housing that has been lost.

On Housing, Democrats Sure Look Like Republicans

At one time, the Democratic Party stood for policies that successfully addressed the country’s chronic housing crisis. What changed, and why?
A realtor opening a house for viewing.

Realtors Reckon with Race

A new generation of real estate agents are aiming for meaningful change in an industry most famous for championing and enforcing segregation.

A Once Reliable Way to Refinance Older Affordable Housing Gets Harder to Access

It had been relatively easy for a developer to get 4 percent tax credits, but that’s no longer true in many places. How is this affecting nonprofit housing developers—and could the human infrastructure bill help?

Three Ways to Immediately Increase Transparency in the Housing Market

Transparency in housing transactions and in subsidized housing practices is a simple and powerful means of producing and sustaining movements for policy change.
Open door to a new home with key and home shaped keychain.

Universal Housing Vouchers: A Promise or a Pipe Dream?

President Biden promised to expand the Housing Choice Voucher program so that everyone who qualifies for a voucher gets one. What exactly would that change entail, and how long could it be before we see it happen?

How State and Local Governments Can Avoid Mass Evictions

Beyond the immediate need to stop mass evictions, there is much more that state and local officials can do to facilitate housing stability in a longer-term transition out of the pandemic emergency. The time for those critical measures is now.

Anti-Eviction Advocates Want the DOJ to Support the Right to Counsel Movement

The revival of an office within the Department of Justice that is focused on equitable legal representation has tenants’ rights advocates calling on the federal government to do more to strengthen the right to counsel movement.
Close-up view of dilapidated asphalt roof shingles

Is an Infrastructure Investment in Housing on Its Way?

The affordable housing industry considers the prospect of unprecedented funding if Biden’s housing as infrastructure plans make it through Congress.
evictions: image of house keys and a tag that says "evicted"

Moratorium Extended: Millions at Risk of Eviction, Billions in Rental Assistance Undelivered

The CDC issued a new eviction moratorium through Oct. 3. Will it be enough time for states to distribute unpaid rental assistance? And how did the 2020 eviction predictions pan out?

Social Housing: A Path to Housing for All?

How do we reduce the precariousness of housing so that a public health crisis or other disaster doesn’t snowball into displacement? Many people are calling for more social housing as part of that solution. What does that mean? What will it take to make it happen?