National League of Cities Urges Action on Housing Affordability
The National League of Cities (NLC) Housing Task Force recently published “Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing.” The report focuses on the challenges and solutions communities are using to address the nation's growing affordable housing crisis. The report offers several policy actions and gives a comprehensive overview of the history and factors behind the crisis, as well as case studies from cities launching innovative solutions and recommendations from experts.
NLC is one of 16 national organizations on the Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector campaign steering committee elevating the importance of affordable housing. More than 20 elected officials and local leaders from across the country compose the NLC Housing Task Force. Regarding its federal recommendations, the report identifies five policy strategies:
- Immediately stabilize and stem the loss of public and affordable housing;
- Follow emergency intervention with passage of a long-term, standalone housing bill that authorizes 10 years of new funding for pilot programs that advance housing for all;
- Support innovation and modernization of land-use and planning at the local and regional level;
- Fix inequities in housing development and the housing finance system; and
- Support scalable innovation and financing for cities, towns, and villages.
The report also includes five local recommendations:
- Establish local programs by combining funding and financing streams to support housing goals.
- Modernize local land use policies, including zoning and permitting, to rebalance housing supply and demand.
- Identify and engage broadly with local stakeholders, and coordinate across municipal boundaries, to develop a plan to provide housing opportunities for all.
- Support the needs of distinct sub-populations including the homeless, seniors, and persons with conviction histories.
- Prioritize equitable outcomes in housing decision as it is an essential component for success.