For many people, the gap between their current income and the cost of housing in their community puts them at immediate risk of a housing crisis. Housing needs to be affordable to those households with the lowest incomes who are most at risk of homelessness, and efforts to increase access to affordable housing must be proportional to the local need.
The Council is working on the following strategies to increase the supply of affordable housing for those who most need it:
- Support additional rental housing subsidies through federal, state, local, and private resources to individuals and families experiencing or most at risk of homelessness.
- Expand the supply of affordable rental homes where they are most needed, through federal, state, and local efforts. Rental subsidies should better target households earning significantly less than 30% of the Area Median Income. The supply must include units that are accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Work with state and local governments to expand rental assistance and low-cost capital for new construction and rehabilitation of housing for individuals and families experiencing or most at risk of homelessness.
- Fund the National Housing Trust Fund.
- Encourage preferences in the awarding of Low Income Housing Tax Credits to increase investments for housing targeted to people experiencing or most at risk of homelessness.
- Link developments to project-based vouchers and other subsidies.
- Improve access to federally funded housing assistance by eliminating administrative barriers and encouraging prioritization of people experiencing or most at risk of homelessness. Implement housing anti-discrimination and eviction protection provisions under the Violence Against Women Act.
- Encourage collaboration between public housing agencies, multifamily housing owners, and homeless services to increase mainstream housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. Promote guidance on how public housing agencies and multifamily housing owners can adopt admissions preferences and coordinate with homeless services organizations to make referrals, assist with applications and lease-up, and provide supportive services.
- Increase service-enriched housing by co-locating or connecting services with affordable housing. This could be accomplished in a wide range of ways, and will vary by community, neighborhood, and development. Examples include providing community space within new affordable housing to host an after-school homework room, retrofitting vacant office space in a public housing complex for use as an examination room for a community health nurse practitioner, providing on-site legal clinics for survivors of domestic violence, or co-locating a community health center or mental health service provider within an affordable housing development.