Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing

Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing

Because stable housing is a critical aspect of job security, economic mobility, and health and well-being, the availability of affordable housing at all income levels is integral to a city's ability to attract investment and prosper, a report from the National League of Cities argues. The report, Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing (33 pages, PDF), outlines policy recommendations developed by the NLC Housing Task Force for narrowing the gap in access to quality, affordable, and safe housing. Recommendations for national hosuing policy include immediately stabilizing and stemming the loss of public and affordable housing; passing a long-term standalone federal housing bill that authorizes ten years of funding for housing; supporting innovation in and the modernization of land use policies and planning; addressing inequities in housing development; and supporting scalable innovation in financing for local governments. At the local level, the task force calls for combining funding streams to support housing goals and programs; balancing supply and demand by updating zoning and permitting policies; engaging with local stakeholders and coordinating across municipal boundaries to develop plans to provide housing opportunities for all; supporting the needs of specific population groups, including the homeless, seniors, and the formerly incarcerated; and prioritizing equitable housing outcomes as a key criteria of success. City governments, the report argues, must provide tenants with legal support, prevent foreclosures, prioritize the role of communities of color in zoning, and create independent equitable development entities that put decision-making power over public investment in the hands of communities most at risk for displacement.