Strategy-of-the-Month: Research on State and Local Means of Increasing Affordable Housing
Posted Date: December 16, 2008


Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Strategy-of-the-Month Club
December 2008
The affordable housing shortage continues to be a major
issue for many state and local governments, and is being
further exacerbated by the recent - and steep - rise in
unemployment. Limited land availability, a lack of
financial resources, and policies instituted during (and
more appropriate to) better economic times can hinder
affordable housing development, but the problem is often
compounded by a multitude of regulatory barriers. When
municipalities allow restrictive zoning policies, high
development fees, and lengthy approval processes to
persist in an already adverse housing market, it's as
though both homebuilders and homebuyers are having the
welcome mat pulled out from under them.
A new report prepared for the National Association of
Home Builders provides a comprehensive look at a wide
variety of strategies that can be implemented at the
state and local levels to overcome these barriers and
increase affordable housing production. The report,
Research on State and Local Means of Increasing
Affordable Housing, catalogues 65 land use and financial
strategies, and provides descriptions, funding
mechanisms, pros and cons, and real world examples for
each strategy.
The report provides detailed information on tools such
as overlay zoning, density bonus policies, land banking,
and mixed-use development programs that can be deployed
to increase affordable housing production. Other
strategies in the report, such as impact fee waivers,
rehabilitation codes, tax credits, and incentives for
infill development, can help reduce construction costs
and make affordable housing development more
economically viable. The report also lists examples of
successful media campaigns and marketing resources that
help overcome NIMBYism and gain community support for
proposed affordable housing projects. In addition to
detailed descriptions and case studies, readers will
also find listings of additional resources for each
strategy and example provided in the report.
To view the report in its entirety, please visit
We hope this information proves useful to you in your
efforts to grow your region's affordable housing stock.
If you have regulatory reform strategies or resources
that you'd like to share, email us at, call us at 1-800-245-2691 (option
4), or visit our website at On
behalf of HUD's Office of Policy Development and
Research, the management and staff of the Regulatory
Barriers Clearinghouse wishes each of our valued
constituents a safe and enjoyable holiday season. We
appreciate both your efforts toward, and your interest
in, bringing housing within reach for hard working
American families.
Feel free to forward this message to anyone who is
working to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable
This message was forwarded to you by the Regulatory
Barriers Clearinghouse eList ( because
you had expressed an interest in affordable housing and
regulatory reform. If you do not wish to receive these
occasional messages, send an email from your account to with the word "unsubscribe" in the

Related Categories: