Maintaining robust federal-state-local partnerships is vital for housing, in part because traditional sources of federal funds for affordable housing may not always be available. Popular Department of Housing and Urban Development programs such as Community Development Block Grants and HOME remain in place, but at sharply reduced funding levels. APA urges all entities to impress upon their federal representatives the importance of restoring — or better, increasing — HUD funding and of addressing the impacts of recent tax reform on a range of tax credits and related finance tools for housing.
local lending and federal policies interact
Lending institutions often have inflexible standards or periods of restricted lending. We encourage banks to support mixed-use and other non-traditional development formats while avoiding risky lending practices and lax regulation. Lenders also can support housing affordability by reducing requirements for parking space.
We need greater investment in lower-income households and communities. Essential tools like the Community Reinvestment Act help ensure fair lending practices. Also essential are a range of tax, incentive, and policy tools that promote critical investment in poorer communities. Weakening or repealing these requirements would devastate markets that need financial leverage to succeed.
states and localities must step up
Further reductions in federal funding for infrastructure will place a greater burden on the private sector to finance public works. States and local jurisdictions may offer a combination of strategies to boost private investment, including access to low-interest bonds, revolving loans, tax credits, and grants.
Local government assessment and tax policies also are frequent impediments to innovative housing plans, often due to unfamiliarity or the lack of an applicable established assessment class.
These APA resources illuminate the issue and prepare you to act in your community.