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.

Will the Joe Biden Administration Bring Rent Relief?

President-Elect Joe Biden has a substantial housing plan, which clearly draws heavily from the affordable housing and community development fields. The plan is thoughtful...

LIHTC Preservation and the Need for Rental Assistance

Many LIHTC developments and renters who live in them are struggling to pay the bills. Could rental assistance alleviate the burden for both?

Massachusetts Showed States How to Create an Eviction Ban. Now It’s Backpedaling

The Massachusetts eviction moratorium—one of the strongest in the nation—expired, just in time for winter. How did this happen?

Tobacco Causes Cancer. Can it Also Build Housing?

“Sin taxes” usually fund health and education programs. Will Colorado add housing to that list? And should they?

Outside Their Comfort Zone: Health Sector Players Speaking Up for Housing Policy Change

Even large health systems willing to finance housing can’t solve housing affordability by themselves; it will take policy change. Taking the plunge to lobbying for that change is still a big step, but when they do they get attention.

The CARES Act Was Supposed to Protect NJ Tenants from Eviction. It Didn’t.

State activists say eviction cases were filed in violation of the CARES Act’s ban on evictions. Pre-trial settlement conferences are further complicating the situation.

Real Estate Defaults Are Coming. Don’t Waste Them.

Here’s what the federal government should do to grab the opportunity to create affordable housing.

Q: Who Enforces CRA?

Why are there three different agencies enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA? Who does each agency enforce it on?
Mixed-income communities. Image of balance scales.

Three Local Policy Innovations that Promote Inclusive, Equitable Mixed-Income Communities

Making inclusion and equity a reality in more American metropolitan areas is possible. Doing so requires innovations in local, regional, and state policies related to mixed-income communities.

States Use CARES Act Funds to Keep Renters Afloat, But It Won’t Be Enough

More than a dozen states are using Community Development Block Grant funding from the CARES Act to fund emergency rental and mortgage assistance programs.

Is a Subsidy for Single-Family Homes in Distressed Areas Closer to Becoming Reality?

The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, which is targeted for census tracts with lower home prices, lower resident incomes, and elevated rates of poverty, is gaining bipartisan support.

Fair Housing Is Still the Law, Even if Trump Refuses to Enforce It

Repudiating the requirement to affirmatively further fair housing is another example of this administration’s race baiting and disregard for both the spirit and the letter of the law.
Massachusetts housing choice legislation

Massachusetts Strikes a Blow Against Exclusionary Zoning

Proposed state bill in Massachusetts boosts housing production, helps end exclusionary zoning.

Trump’s Empty Shell of a Promise to Renters

Diane Yentel slams President Trump's latest executive order as "reckless and harmful."
Aerial view of suburb

Densifying Suburbs Is the Better Path to Housing Affordability

Alan Mallach responds to critiques of his assessment of urban versus suburban upzoning.

We Need a Federal Housing Agency

Our politics have made an artificial divide between the public and the private sectors when it comes to housing. It’s time to do better.

Lasting Affordability Is the Path to Resilience

We now have a unique opportunity, generated by a combination of life-threatening conditions and focused political will stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement, to re-prioritize local housing policies and resources.
homeowners_foreclosure sign

Don’t Just Defer Loans—Start Modifying Loans Now

We have learned how to successfully provide broad-based mortgage payment relief to millions of American households in need. There’s nothing to stop us this time around from doing it right.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, who stands at a podium in front of an American flag, has proposed legislation that would cancel rents and individual mortgage payments nationwide to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Ilhan Omar Proposes Bill to Cancel Rent, Mortgage Payments During Pandemic

A bill announced today by Rep. Ilhan Omar would release tenants and homeowners from housing payments until the national emergency is lifted, and would make up the losses to landlords and lenders through a federal fund.
Vice President Joe Biden stands with a microphone in his hand in front of an American flag at an Iowa forum August 2019.

What Could a Joe Biden Presidency Accomplish on Affordable Housing?

Democratic presidential candidates made the housing crisis part of their platforms. What might a President Biden do to ease the shortage?