State and Local Housing Affordability

Land Development
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Contact: Nicholas Julian
(202) 266-8309
njulian@nahb.org

Land Use State and Local Housing Affordability

Safe, decent, affordable housing is fundamental to the economic and physical well-being of all families, communities, regional economics and the nations.

Housing stability, be it owned or rented, leads to greater financial stability and freedom, reduced stress, improved health, increased school attendance, increased school performance, and longer-term economic stability.

Yet families and households encompass an increasingly diverse demographic that has changed over time and now spans a broad income range of needs. There are more extended families in multigenerational households. Nearly half of U.S. adults are single. An aging population is living in homes that aren’t very accessible. And a record 41% of young adults live with their parents.

The challenge to affordable housing is a multidimensional problem, and the simple fact is that the current housing stock is not nearly as diverse as we are.

Planners, policymakers and elected officials need to explore the issues involved in building a greater range of housing types that discreetly add density to existing zoning and neighborhoods. The types include smaller homes, smaller lots, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — a mix that is being referred to as Missing Middle Housing types.

Different tools and approaches are needed to address different income segments and solve different problems. Some may work better than others in particular areas. Most work best as part of a comprehensive housing affordability strategy. But there is no “silver bullet” solution.

Learn more about the different tools available and how different municipalities across the United States have tried to solve the housing affordability issues in their communities.

Resources

  • Report

    Residential Design Standards

    By enacting residential design standards, communities aim to control the physical characteristics of their housing stock, preserve community character, protect property values and attain certain populations of home buyers and renters. Such standards can create a barrier to housing affordability. See how builders are challenging these standards across the country and other alternatives communities can pursue.

    View
  • Report

    Inclusionary Zoning

    Many communities rely on inclusionary zoning (IZ) to show they are addressing housing affordability without examining the local causes, or understanding the complexities and diversity of housing needs. Learn more about this topic, including the typical incentives used for IZ, as well as a calculator tool to show the effect of IZ on the pro forma for a development.

    View
  • PowerPoint Presentation

    Creating Housing for Everyone

    The housing affordability challenge is a multidimensional problem, but the simple fact is the current housing stock is not as diverse as we are. This presentation outlines the challenges and NAHB research available to help combat housing affordability.

    Download
Creating Housing for All Toolkit More resources and case studies on tackling the housing affordability crisis in communities across the country.
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Housing Economics
<p>In-depth economic analysis of the most significant issues and latest trends driving the housing industry.</p>

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