APA Legislative Priorities

A federal legislative agenda to create inclusive, resilient, sustainable communities

Four Planning Issues That Congress Must Address in 2020

Confront the climate crisis by advancing meaningful solutions for climate change mitigation and resilience

Strengthen federal-local partnerships by providing high-quality data for effective local decision making and adapting, planning, and deploying new technologies

Address the housing crisis by supporting housing investment and reform

Renew and expand infrastructure programs to meet today’s needs for stronger and more equitable places

Confront the climate crisis

The nation and the world face a climate crisis. Federal policy must do more to make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change and reduce the emissions driving the crisis.

Planners urge Congress to take immediate action to:

  • Strengthen resiliency standards for infrastructure
  • Support planning for climate change
  • Invest in clean and green infrastructure
  • Incorporate climate and resiliency considerations into a range of grant program criteria
  • Provide targeted planning and mitigation aid for vulnerable communities
  • Increase and improve mapping and mitigation programs
  • Implement reforms to hazard mitigation and disaster recovery programs
  • Safeguard and improve critical environmental protection policies and programs

Provide high-quality data and adapt, plan, and deploy new technologies

Reliable, comprehensive data is the foundation for good planning, and the federal government is an indispensable partner. The federal government also has a key role in the accelerating use of data analytics and new technologies in communities.

Planners urge Congress to take immediate action to:

  • Provide full funding for the Census Bureau
  • Reject efforts to insert untested questions that threaten a full and fair Census count
  • Fund federal data agencies, essential programs, and policies that make resources usable and accessible for local decision makers
  • Support smart cities technology by investing in infrastructure, supporting good planning, aiding adoption in targeted communities, and expanding research and standards
  • Support advances in broadband and telecommunications technology

Address the housing crisis

Housing is one major challenge confronting communities from coast to coast. While the housing crisis looks different across various places and markets, planning must play a central role in finding solutions to challenges ranging from affordability to resilience and availability to accessibility. Federal policy can help advance these solutions.

Planners urge Congress to take immediate action to:

  • Increase funding for existing key programs
  • Improve finance tools and tax credits
  • Use federal programs and investments to encourage a stronger link to housing, transportation, infrastructure, and land use decisions
  • Tailor federal investments and regulatory requirements to support local code and planning reforms

Renew and expand infrastructure programs

In 2020, Congress will confront the need to reauthorize the nation’s surface transportation law and invest in our infrastructure. 

Planners urge Congress to take immediate steps to:

  • Provide sustainable funding with improved support for planning in the next surface transportation law
  • Expand support for biking, walking, and public transit in the next surface transportation law
  • Address climate change and resiliency in the next surface transportation law
  • Focus on the future of the transportation system in the next surface transportation law
  • Increase funding for proven, existing federal programs
  • Improve and support vital finance tools for infrastructure investment