2024 Policy Priority

Federal support for zoning reform is key to increasing housing supply

Housing Opportunity Through Zoning Reform

The nation's housing supply crisis continues to accelerate. Today research estimates that our housing deficit is approaching nearly 4 million homes, and smaller regions and mid-sized communities are being hit the hardest. Congress can — and must — play an essential role in supporting housing planning and reforms to increase housing options that address the nation's shortage.


Locally-led zoning reform is essential to break down regulatory barriers that stand in the way of producing more housing

With federal support, planners can enable reforms that meet communities where they are to increase housing choice, lower housing costs, bolster local economies, address inequities, and connect people to opportunity.

Quote image of APA President Angela Brooks with text: Planners have data-driven insights and a unique understanding of critical trends and local needs to support policymakers in solving our housing crisis.

We urge Congress and the Biden Administration to support planning and reforms that increase diverse, attainable, and equitable housing supply

Congress can advance a housing reform agenda that strategically invests in people and places and supports efforts to build a better future for us all.

Opportunities for Federal Action

  • Fund THUD's PRO Housing program for a second program year
  • Pass legislation for PRO Housing based on the Housing Supply and Affordability Act to make the program more responsive to the housing supply needs of smaller communities
  • Pass the bipartisan Yes In My Backyard Act to increase understanding of and accountability for regulatory barriers to affordable housing
  • Pass the Build More Housing Near Transit Act to ensure federal agencies take housing and land use into account in evaluating infrastructure grant applications
  • Pass the bipartisan Reducing Regulatory Barriers to Housing Act to make HUD a better policy partner for local zoning reform
  • Provide tools, financing, and resources to help communities with emerging and post-pandemic housing challenges, such as commercial-to-residential conversions, workforce housing, and missing middle housing production
  • Provide incentives and resources for local reform and capacity building to drive local and regional housing planning in our communities

It Takes a Planner to Enable Housing Solutions

Housing is a complex crisis that requires comprehensive solutions. Planners provide data-driven insights and solutions that can help policymakers improve public policies and investments that not only boost housing options, but also make our infrastructure more efficient, and tackle climate change.

Hear from local policymakers how planning has produced positive outcomes in their communities:


A National Partnership for Zoning Reform

APA is partnering with the National League of Cities to improve local capacity, identify critical solutions, and speed zoning reforms that enable communities to meet housing needs at the local level.

The Housing Supply Accelerator will bring together local governments, planners, builders, financial institutions, housing policy associations, and state and federal partners to develop, align, and advance solutions for housing supply challenges.


Zoning Reform Advocacy in Action

APA's Equity in Zoning Policy Guide was designed to help local and regional planners and decision-makers dismantle barriers and create more diverse housing options in places where they are needed most.

APA's Housing Policy guide identifies policy solutions for planners and local, state, and federal elected officials that address dire housing challenges — including accessibility, affordability, and availability — plaguing rapid and slow-growth communities nationwide.

APA joins a pro-housing coalition in support of a federal bill that encourages communities to eliminate discriminatory land use policies, making it easier for planners to close housing gaps and identify a plan for advancing zoning reforms.

Stay Up to Date on Federal Action

Join APA's network of planning advocates, the Planners' Advocacy Network, to stay up to date on what is happening in Washington and the state capitols and help shape federal and state policy outcomes.

Join the Network