Housing Choice Scoping Sessions

Most Promising Strategies

APA embarked on a series of scoping sessions during Fall 2004. The purpose of the Housing Choice Scoping Sessions was to get in tune with real world affordable housing problems and opportunities throughout the country. The scoping sessions were held in conjunction with APA chapter conferences in six regions of the country:

1. North Carolina, September 22, 2004

2. Southern New England (MA, RI, CT), September 29, 2004

3. Oregon/Washington, October 6, 2004

4. Midwest (IL, IA, KY, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI), October 12, 2004

5. Texas, October 13, 2004

6. California, October 17, 2004

Participants in the six Housing Choice Scoping Sessions conducted in 2004 were asked to identify two sets of planning strategies:

  1. Existing strategies that been in place for some time and had proven their effectiveness.
  2. Strategies that appeared promising or desirable in response to specific housing issues facing the state or its regions.

Participants suggested many of the strategies listed during the Housing Choice Scoping Sessions. They also suggested additional strategies during post-session discussions as well as during open discussion following Chapter and National conference sessions held about the Housing Choice project.

For additional information on the strategies listed:

Individual session summaries

Housing Choice Strategies Online (pdf)

Promising Strategies in Action

North Carolina

  • North Carolina Community Development Initiative, a statewide nonprofit statewide intermediary lender that also provides technical assistance for community development corporations
  • Self-Help, a community development financial institution that offers a national alternative secondary market for nonconforming mortgages
  • Community-based land trusts in Orange and Durham Counties that provide affordable housing

Southern New England

  • Massachusetts Chapter 40R: Smart Growth Zoning Districts, 2004
  • Rhode Island Public Laws, Chapter 286, 2004
  • Inclusionary Housing Strategies


  • A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH), King County, Washington


  • Illinois Comprehensive Housing Plan
  • Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act
  • Indianapolis program for linking elimination of abandoned houses with redevelopment initiatives


  • S.M.A.R.T. Housing™ program, Austin
  • Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority (LARA), Houston
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), San Antonio


  • Accessory Dwelling Unit Development Program, Santa Cruz

Promising Strategies Wish List

North Carolina

  • Education on handling money and credit
  • Authorization for inclusionary zoning
  • Statewide minimum housing code
  • Development of rental housing production capacity
  • Incentivized housing trust fund for realtors and bankers
  • Education campaign on benefits of affordable housing


  • Oregon LCDC needs to develop capacity to assist local governments with affordable housing
  • Needs to be a mechanism to pledge affordable housing as a condition of UGB expansions
  • Real estate transfer tax for affordable housing, lift ban on exclusionary zoning in Oregon
  • Banking land for affordable housing
  • Citizen education
  • More short term activity to produce affordable units


  • Cooperative efforts outside government
  • Training local planning commissions concerning affordable housing
  • UniGov approach to housing to share burdens and benefits


  • More housing generally
  • Higher densities
  • Statewide inclusionary zoning
  • Maintaining Section 8
  • The "Urban Williamson Act"
  • Linking affordable housing to job development
  • Building affordable housing in smaller clusters