The United States' housing supply is short nearly four million units of what communities and residents need, even in areas that have previously experienced relatively stable markets. The impact of this is felt through low rates of housing vacancies or availability, rising rents and high home purchase prices, and more. The shortfall is even greater for workforce housing, moderately and affordably priced housing, and for rental housing units.
Across the country, community leaders, community planners, and residents alike know from their own experiences the housing challenges facing the nation. Numerous communities continue to experiment with new approaches and reforms — such as zoning reform to expanding missing middle housing options — to find solutions to ease the nation's housing burdens.
The American Planning Association (APA) and the National League of Cities (NLC) have partnered to launch the Housing Supply Accelerator, a national campaign to improve local capacity, identify critical solutions, and speed reforms that enable communities and developers to work together to produce, preserve, and provide a diverse range of quality housing. This effort will bring together local governments, community planners, builders, financial institutions, housing policy associations, and state and federal partners to develop, align, and advance solutions that accelerate and incentivize local approaches to land use, housing development, and preservation.
By realigning the efforts of public and private stakeholders in the housing sector, we can meet national housing needs at the local level.
"Boosting the supply, availability, and diversity of housing options is essential to expanding opportunity and affordability for all. As communities across the country are confronting an expanding housing crisis, the need for reform has never been greater. This crisis threatens our economy, limits access to opportunity, reinforces long-standing inequities, and undermines efforts to create more sustainable places. The launch of the Housing Supply Accelerator shows the commitment of community planners and local officials to work together to find solutions and build momentum for a common agenda. Together, we can speed the adoption of policies that will reform zoning and increase housing choice in communities across the nation."
— Angela D. Brooks, FAICP, APA President, & Campaign Co-Chair.
Introducing the Steering Committee
To guide and inform this important campaign and expand knowledge about efforts already undertaken, opportunities, and obstacles, NLC President Mayor Victoria Woodards (Tacoma, Washington) and APA President Angela D. Brooks, FAICP, have engaged a steering committee of local leaders and planners, each with unique perspectives and experience in housing policy, planning, or development.
These representatives are actively working within their respective communities to identify and apply solutions on the front lines of the national housing crisis. The steering committee will be guiding efforts on three areas of focus over the course of the campaign: zoning and regulatory reform; construction and development; and finance.
Members of the Housing Supply Accelerator steering committee will first convene in March 2023 to begin charting the path for this national effort.
Angela D. Brooks, FAICP
APA President and Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Chicago
Steering Committee Co-Chair
Angela D. Brooks, FAICP
Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Chicago
Vincent Bertoni, AICP
Planning Director, City of Los Angeles, California
Andrea Brown, AICP
Executive Director, Michigan Association of Planners
Executive Director, Washington Housing Conservancy, Washington, D.C.
City Manager, Greensboro, North Carolina
Emily Liu, FAICP
Director, Louisville Metro Office of Planning and Design Services, Louisville, Kentucky
Sarah Marchant, AICP
Chief of Staff, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
Executive Director, Northern Middlesex Council of Governments, Lowell, Massachusetts
Angela Self, AICP
Planning Administrator, City of Garland, Texas
Arlova Vonhm, AICP
Zoning Division Chief, City of Arlington, Virginia
John Zeanah, AICP
Director, Division of Planning & Development, City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee
Mayor Victoria Woodards
NLC President and City of Tacoma, Washington
steering Committee Co-Chair
Mayor Corey Woods
City of Tempe, Arizona
Mayor Angela Birney
City of Redmond, Washington
Vice Mayor Jolien Caraballo
City of Port St. Lucie, Florida
Executive Director, League of California Cities
CEO, Maryland Municipal League
Mayor Bianca Motley Broom
City of College Park, Georgia
Council President Vop Osili
City of Indianapolis, Indiana
Mayor Aftab Pureval
City of Cincinnati, Ohio
Councilmember Adriana Rocha Garcia
City of San Antonio, Texas
Mayor Mark Shepherd
City of Clearfield, Utah
"Solving today's housing crisis is going to require partnering across sectors to find solutions together. On behalf of NLC, I am thrilled to partner with the American Planning Association and leaders in the public and private sectors over the next year so that we can work toward a future where every resident in every city, town and village has a safe and affordable place to call home."
— NLC President Victoria Woodards, Mayor of Tacoma, Washington, & Campaign Co-Chair
This campaign would not be possible without the generous support of our corporate partner AirBnB. A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available to organizations looking to drive meaningful impact to address local housing supply needs. Learn more about the packages and benefits available to partners by downloading the prospectus or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up Next for the Campaign
In the coming weeks, key housing supply stakeholders, housing association partners and housing policy partners will be directly invited to participate in the Housing Supply Accelerator. Local government leaders and planners will also have an opportunity to provide critical insight to this campaign through engagement with National League of Cities and the American Planning Association. Together, communities, planners, and our partners stand ready to meet the urgency of this moment.
Top image: iStock/Getty Images Plus - eyecrave productions.
About the AUthors
Lauren Lowery is the director of housing & community development at the National League of Cities.
Michael Wallace is the legislative director for community and economic development on the federal advocacy team at the National League of Cities.
Jason Jordan is the public affairs director at the American Planning Association.