Strategy-of-the-Month: Creating a Task Force on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing
Posted Date: February 15, 2008


Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Strategy-of-the-Month Club
February 2008
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD) has prepared an advisory guidebook, Creating a
 Task Force on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing,
to help state and local governments - as well as public-
private partnerships - identify and reduce barriers to
affordable housing. The guidebook is an updated and
substantially revised version of the 1992 publication,
Creating a Local Advisory Commission on Regulatory
Barriers to Affordable Housing, and furthers the goals
of HUD's America's Affordable Communities Initiative
The guidebook defines a regulatory barrier as a law or
ordinance that can increase the cost of new or
rehabilitated housing by imposing unjustifiable
restrictions with little or no public benefit. In some
cases, regulatory barriers can increase housing costs
anywhere from 10 to 35 percent. In order to help
communities identify whether local regulations are
having a negative impact on the development and
retention of affordable housing, the guidebook lists
common signs to look for, such as development
application backlogs and delayed processing times for
zoning, subdivision, and other applications.
The establishment of a task force, comprised of
community members representing diverse interest groups,
is key to identifying and reducing regulatory barriers
to affordable housing. The community must define goals
and objectives, select members, designate a chair
person, and assign staff support for the task force.
Once relevant research has been analyzed and all goals
and objectives have been established, the task force
will present a final report to the local governing body
for action. The report should identify specific
regulatory barriers and propose necessary changes. The
guidebook emphasizes the need to follow through with a
public education program after the release of the task
force report, in order to dispel common misconceptions
about affordable housing.
Additional information about the guidebook can be found
To view examples of an affordable housing task force,
please visit AACI's National Call to Action at
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, send us an email at, call us at 1-800-245-2691 (option
4), or visit our website at
Feel free to forward this message to anyone who is
working to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable
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