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.

Dig In

These APA resources illuminate the issue and prepare you to act in your community.

  • Planning Home Case Study: Akron, Ohio

    Residential Property Tax Abatement

    Much of Akron's existing housing stock is in such disrepair that replacing existing units with new, safe, and code-compliant housing makes much more financial sense than extensive rehabilitation. The city's shrinking population, compounded by widespread sprawl and population loss in the Northeast Ohio region, has also dampened demand for housing in Akron for many decades.


Blog Post

Surviving Tax Reform

Thanks to community development advocates, Private Activity Bonds, New Market Tax Credits, and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit were among the critical planning and development programs spared in the 2017 tax reform compromise.

Web Resources

Engaging Federal, State, and Local Leaders

Planning is part of the solution to America's housing affordability crisis, but it is up to planners to drive that message home. Our advocacy templates will get you started.