NHPF-Authored Articles & Industry Reports

Most survey participants (59%) contend that neither the public nor the private sector currently does enough to support affordable rental housing. A smaller majority (54%) feels that, going forward, the two sectors should bear equal responsibility in supporting such housing. Yet a substantial minority of respondents (43%) believes that the responsibility should lie primarily with the public sector in that regard. There is broad agreement that each of the major actors in the affordable housing space should be more active than it is currently. More than 80% of survey participants want various public sector actors—each level of government, as well as mayors and city councilmembers—to take a more active role in furthering the development and preservation of affordable housing. Housing Agency Partners who took part in The NHPF Symposium voiced several ways that they break down barriers and increase collaboration, such as creating renter education efforts in conjunction with realtors and other stakeholders and partnering with CDFIs like LISC and others to bring technical assistance and pre-development funds to municipalities that are trying to build capacity. “ We work with local government to use their powers in terms of land use and zoning decisions to provide density bonuses and preserve affordable rental housing, and increase the density available for redevelopment. ” —MICHAEL HAWKINS Managing Director, Community Outreach, Virginia Housing At the same time, 83% of respondents believe that the philanthropic sector also needs to take a more active role in promoting residential affordability than it has in the past. Those questioned contend that virtually all the major actors have taken a progressively greater role in facilitating affordable housing in the past decade plus, and all were seen as doing more during the pandemic era than during the 2010s. 7. Be Open to Bold, New Funding Ideas It could be argued that the most creative way to finance affordable housing is also one of its most enduring. The LIHTC program, created over 30 years ago, recently survived the chopping block and is included in the current Build Back Better Reconciliation Legislation and serves as inspiration to develop more creative financing tools for affordable housing. According to the survey, respondents generally considered the most effective programs to be those that focused on increasing the supply of affordable homes, including through preserving the ones that are most at risk of loss.

A Decade of Rental Housing Vulnerability

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