Research Report Local and State Policies to Improve Access to Affordable Housing
An Examination and Assessment of Eight Policies Supported by Habitat for Humanity’s Cost of Home Campaign
Mark Treskon, Jorge González-Hermoso, Noah McDaniel, Dennis Su
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This report examines eight recently enacted local and state affordable housing policies that were supported by Habitat for Humanity affiliate organizations participating in Habitat for Humanity International’s Cost of Home campaign, a five-year advocacy effort with the goal of supporting access to affordable homes for 10 million people. The report explores each policy’s theory of change and examines how available evidence may or may not support the expectations for policy impact. The eight policies are:

  1. The Affordable Housing Bond in Raleigh, North Carolina, which provides $80.0 million in affordable housing dollars;
  2. The 2021 expansion of the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, which provides additional funding to promote affordable housing and efforts to reduce homelessness;
  3. The Summit County, Ohio, Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which provides $600,000 in grants and loans supporting affordable housing activities;
  4. The Home Purchase Assistance Program in Washington, DC, which offers interest-free loans to homebuyers with low and medium-incomes;
  5. The Rent Reporting for Credit Pilot Program in Colorado, which allows participants’ on-time rental payments to be reported to credit agencies with the purpose of building credit;
  6. The Affordability Unlocked program in Austin, Texas, which offers extensive waivers and modifications of development regulations to developers incorporating affordable housing;
  7. The housing choices bill in Oregon, which legalizes duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in all major cities in the state; and
  8. The just cause eviction bill in Washington, which requires landlords to provide a reason for eviction.

These policies are new, so continued assessment and monitoring will be important for determining their impact going forward. In our preliminary set of assessments, we found promising initial outcomes and learning opportunities about implementation in these locales and beyond.

Research Areas Housing Housing finance Neighborhoods, cities, and metros Land use Greater DC
Tags Evictions Homeownership Housing affordability Land use and zoning Multifamily housing Rental housing Family credit and debt
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Research Methods Data analysis Data collection Quantitative data analysis
States Washington Oregon Colorado Virginia
Cities Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX Akron, OH Raleigh-Cary, NC