Address the Nation’s Housing Crisis: Action for the States

There is a nationwide need for state involvement and resources to ensure that localities are provided with the tools to address housing challenges. This week, APA is engaging with legislators at the state level during the annual National Conference of State Legislatures summit. As state legislators and legislative staff gather in Nashville from across the country, we are calling on policymakers to address planning priorities and housing is front and center.

States Tackle Nationwide Housing Challenges

The following actions, highlighted in APA's Housing Policy Guide, are critical for states to address the housing crisis:

Modernize State Planning Laws

  • Enable local code reform that promotes housing affordability, availability, sustainable design, and hazard mitigation
  • Adopt state laws that would prohibit and provide additional protections for housing discrimination
  • Establish affordable, accessible, and available housing as core values in states and localities

Preserve Existing Housing

  • Maintain the quality of an overall supply of affordable housing
  • Monitor existing affordable housing units in state and local jurisdictions

Encourage environmental sustainability and resiliency as critical elements of housing availability and affordability

  • Investigate opportunities to amend zoning and building requirements to increase production of net-zero and passive homes and homes with water harvesting and gray water systems
  • Require binding comprehensive plans or a specific community-wide housing plan that addresses the availability and affordability of housing

Ensure that public and private finance supports increased housing availability and affordability

  • Work together with local jurisdictions to create reforms to tax assessment policies
  • Support the establishment of programs to provide financing for or subsidize the development of accessory dwelling units targeted for occupancy by lower-income households
  • Establish Housing Trust Funds (HTFs): APA supports funding the HTFs via the direct allocation from general funds and issuing housing bonds at the local and state level

For more of APA's policy guidance on housing reform at all levels of government, download APA's Housing Policy Guide.

Top image: Minneapolis housing. Getty Images photo.

About the Author
Catherine Hinshaw is APA's state government affairs associate.

August 6, 2019

By Catherine Hinshaw