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Strategy-of-the-Month: Increasing the Availability of Affordable Homes
Posted Date: August 12, 2008

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Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Strategy-of-the-Month Club
 
August 2008
 
As many communities struggle to provide affordable
housing options for their teachers, police officers, fire
fighters, paramedics, and other workers, there is a need for
state and local governments to step in to implement policies
that will have a substantial impact on increasing the
affordable housing supply. The Center for Housing Policy
has published a handbook, "Increasing the Availability of
Affordable Homes," with 22 high-impact solutions that state
and local governments can adopt to encourage affordable
workforce housing development.
 
The solutions, which are easily adapted to meet the unique
needs of a community, are broadly categorized under six
strategies for affordable housing preservation and
production. Some of the strategies include increasing the
amount of land available for housing, reducing regulatory
barriers, and preserving existing affordable homes. To
increase housing production, the handbook recommends
that local governments rezone larger tracts of land for
residential purposes, and allocate tax-foreclosed properties
for affordable housing purposes. There are also examples
of expedited permitting and revised impact fee structures
that can decrease housing costs, augmented by strategies
for reducing lengthy administrative approval processes and
high development fees. Other strategies include offering tax
abatements to stimulate construction and rehabilitation,
establishing incentives to increase the housing supply,
adopting building codes that facilitate rehabilitation of
existing homes, and creating housing trust funds.
 
To view the complete handbook and its examples of real-
world solutions adopted by communities across the nation,
please visit http://www.huduser.gov/rbc/search/rbcdetails.asp?DocId=1595.
 
We hope this information proves useful 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, send us an email at rbcsubmit@huduser.gov, call us
at 1-800-245-2691 (option 4), or visit our website
at www.regbarriers.org.
 
Feel free to forward this message to anyone who is working
to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing.
 
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