Addressing the affordability crisis requires different solutions in different markets. In some high-cost markets, it may make sense to raise the income thresholds for eligibility; even many moderate-income households in these areas find themselves housing cost-burdened. Similarly, both very strong and very weak markets may require deeper subsidy for developments to be both affordable and economically viable. In such areas, the public and philanthropic sectors may have to take a larger financial role than they have in the past. Expecting the private, for-profit sector to play as substantial a role may be unrealistic without the ability to leverage other sources of subsidized capital. Tailoring programs to respond to local conditions also requires policy makers to consider more than just the current housing stock and resident incomes. Because investments in housing infrastructure are intended to last for decades, homes and communities must meet both current and future needs while taking considerations of greater resilience and equity into account. “ We have begun to implement higher standards for the types of homes that we build and are leveraging the
resources we have to keep us prepared. It isn’t just resilient infrastructure, but we are providing opportunities to people who will then be able to weather the storm better because they have been able to expand their own experience and expertise. ”
Mayor Sylvester Turner City of Houston, Texas
6. Break Down Barriers to Increase Collaborative Efforts Most respondents believe that the public, private, and philanthropic sectors have key roles to play in expanding and preserving the supply of affordable housing. Yet too many existing programs are designed in ways that make collaboration difficult. Programs do not necessarily have similar affordability thresholds, and some prioritize certain types of capital over others. Tweaking regulations to enable programs to augment each other in a relatively seamless way would help considerably, as would revisiting some regulations to make them more consistent across programs. Aligning program rules can make it easier for private-sector actors to work in partnership with the public sector; these joint efforts tend to have greater impacts when the two sectors draw upon their respective strengths and capacities.
A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability
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