PRO Housing Grants Announced: New Federal Support for Local Zoning Reform

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the long-awaited Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing) grants. By providing critical resources and incentives directly to communities, the PRO Housing program exemplifies the vital and appropriate federal role in supporting locally-led housing reforms.

Thanks in large part to the consistent work of planning advocates — from those who attended Congressional meetings at Planners' Day, to those who wrote their representatives through the Planners' Advocacy Network, to the many other planners and local leaders who shared why their communities need federal support for zoning reform — the PRO Housing grants mark a huge win for communities and their planners who are taking steps to eliminate regulatory barriers to housing production.

"As I travel across the country, I hear from people all the time, including builders, elected officials, and other stakeholders, about how difficult it is to build housing.


This is why I am pleased to announce our first round of PRO Housing funding, which will provide communities with incentives to address their local housing barriers. This expands on our ongoing efforts to lower housing costs by increasing the housing supply."
— HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman

The $85 million in grant funding will be distributed to 21 recipients, with $100 million slotted for the next round of grants later this year.

PRO Housing Winners

State Name
Alabama Montgomery


California Arcata
California Los Angeles County
California Metropolitan Transportation Commission (Bay Area)
Colorado Denver
Washington, D.C./ Maryland/Virginia Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Hawai'i State of Hawai'i
Iowa Iowa City
Idaho Ketchum
Massachusetts Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Minnesota Metropolitan Council (Twin Cities)
New Jersey Newark
New York New York City
Oregon Bend
Pennsylvania Philadelphia
Rhode Island State of Rhode Island
Tennessee Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
Texas Fort Worth
Washington Seattle
Wisconsin Milwaukee

Federal Dollars into Local Reforms

Recipients will have some flexibility in how the funding and technical assistance are used to address housing costs. Reforms such as updating state and local housing plans, revising local land use policies, and streamlining the permitting process have already proven successful in communities big and small.

The inclusion of resources for reforms like these is a positive sign that planning is being recognized at the national level for the role the profession plays in helping solve the housing crisis. Securing funding for PRO Housing was made possible by support from both sides of the aisle, and recent legislation such as the Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Housing Act, the YIMBY Act, and the Housing Supply and Affordability Act are further indications that bipartisan support for housing affordability through zoning reform is only growing.

US Rep. Emanuel Cleaver Quote Card on Zoning Reform

Growing Demand for Federal Support

According to HUD, the grant program received nearly 200 submissions from communities across 47 states and territories — 11 times the amount of funding available. As Congress debates the FY25 HUD budget now is the time to ensure there is additional PRO Housing funding and a longer-term authorization for the program through the Housing Supply and Affordability Act.

While it's too soon to say what the next wave of PRO Housing will look like, demand for federal support for local zoning reform is evident. As planners continue to ease the burden of the housing crisis on our communities at the local level, Congress must continue its forward momentum toward federal action that empowers local housing reforms.

Housing Supply Accelerator Playbook

Housing Supply Accelerator Playbook cover

Local Reforms For Your Community

Check out the Housing Supply Accelerator Playbook for policy guidance, case studies, tips, and models for reforms that your community can implement NOW to help address the housing crisis.

Top image: iStock/Getty Images Plus: MicrovOne

About the Author
Brenna Donegan is APA's public affairs program manager.

June 28, 2024

By Brenna Donegan