Climbing the ladder of housing opportunities

the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley emitted “Building a Better Ladder of Housing Opportunities in the United StatesA report suggesting ways to reform the way the federal government structures housing investment and regulatory oversight.

“An effective housing policy should foster a ladder of opportunity, where government policies help people at every level and facilitate their ability to move forward,” said the Terner Center in its release. “But the ladder we have today has several rungs missing, others too far apart, and many rungs are only accessible to certain people or communities.”

Building a Better Ladder of Housing Opportunities in the United States»Meets three main objectives:

  • Correct sizing and better targeting of subsidies directly to households;
  • Expand and harmonize housing supply-oriented resources and tools to support increased production and a range of housing choices; and
  • Strengthen incentives and accountability for localities and private market actors to ensure they advance equitable housing, root out systemic racism and support climate resilience.

The Terner Center identified the start of President Joe Biden’s administration as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for systemic housing reform to create a system that fulfills the 1949 Housing Act promise of a ” safe and affordable housing for all ”.

To better target subsidies directly to households, the Terner Center offers:

  • Recognize a path to full housing recovery, expand COVID-19 assistance to protect against evictions and the potential loss of affordable inventory.
  • Beyond the pandemic response, expand and improve target rent assistance for very low income households.
  • Restructuring of housing tax expenditures to better support low- and middle-income households, including tenants.

By expanding the resources and tools of the housing supply to support production and housing choices, the Terner Center suggests:

  • Create flexible supply-side grants that operate on a multi-jurisdictional scale and invest in the capacity to administer these funds.
  • Improve the allocation of existing production-oriented resources, including the low-income housing tax credit program.
  • Align financing tools to support unsubsidized housing production that improves affordability, leveraging federal tools such as the Federal Housing Administration, Federal Home Loan Banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing products .
  • Strengthen incentives and accountability for localities and private market actors to ensure they advance equitable housing, root out systemic racism and support climate resilience.

The report cites the responsibility of localities and private market actors in promoting fair housing and suggests the following:

  • Strengthen the federal regulatory framework to support housing goals, while protecting against racist policies and market practices.
  • Condition existing funding to support the adoption of housing-friendly policies.
  • Link new funding to regional housing goals and provide performance incentives.

Click here for the full report, “Building a Better Scale for Housing Opportunities in the United States.”


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About Rhonda Lee

Rhonda Lee

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