APA Legislative Priorities

Planning for Opportunity Agenda

A legislative agenda to create just, healthy, and prosperous communities that expand opportunity for all

Policy Strategies for More Just, Healthy, Prosperous Communities

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New Congress, new policy agenda

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Address the nation's housing crisis

Housing is a major challenge in communities across the nation. While the challenges vary from region to region and market to market, the common goal in addressing them is to advance policies that promote fairness, affordability and choice rooted in strong, opportunity-rich neighborhoods.

Meeting our housing and community development needs is essential for expanding economic and social mobility for all. Inequality, stagnant growth, and systemic barriers to community development have deep costs for individuals, families, and communities. Planning can effectively and equitably engage the public and identify barriers to and opportunities for shared, inclusive growth. Federal and state policies should directly address social equity challenges and support efforts to create more prosperous and equitable communities.

What Congress Should Do

advance policies that support inclusive growth and development

Policies that promote inclusive growth provide a new way of tackling persistent problems of poverty, inequality, and inequitable economic growth. Inclusive growth can be a means of boosting economic prosperity, expanding access to opportunity, and advancing social equity. This policy framework aims to address training and workforce needs while also giving all people a stake in our economy. While still an emerging area of policy thinking, it offers a path away from stale and divisive arguments about growth versus redistribution and towards a broader and more sustainable economic and social future.

What Congress Should Do

invest in infrastructure

Well-planned infrastructure investments are a catalyst for economic growth, long-term prosperity, and access to opportunity. Today's bipartisan support for infrastructure holds the promise of not only new jobs and economic growth but also stronger communities and neighborhoods providing vital access to opportunity. At the same time, we need not just more investment, but better investment. Any federal infrastructure program should be driven by key principles of good planning. This requires considering the importance of location, helping communities fully leverage investments, and connecting infrastructure to related issues like resilience, housing, and economic development. Infrastructure programs should prioritize support for projects that offer multiple public benefits.

What Congress Should Do

Promote Healthy and Safe Communities

Federal policy should encourage and support efforts to improve the health and resiliency of the nation's communities. The National Flood Insurance Program is due for reauthorization and presents an important opportunity to use good planning to create healthier and safer communities. Implementing hazard mitigation reforms and new food systems programs, funding efforts to support local park and recreation opportunities, and maintaining essential environmental protections are vital to advancing community health and safety.

What Congress Should Do