The state of the nation's housing 2020

For most of 2020, the country has been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest sparked by longstanding racial injustice, and the devastating impacts of climate change. Although low interest rates and continued growth in some sectors have bolstered homebuying and the broader economy, conditions have worsened for many households.

Indeed, the nation’s failure to live up to its long-stated goal of a decent home in a suitable environment for all has never been clearer—particularly in the lack of affordable rental housing and unequal access to homeownership. Today’s crisis conditions call for a comprehensive re-envisioning of national housing policy.

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University • November 19, 2020

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Nov. 25th, 2020 - Policy Digest 11


Ending exclusionary zoning in New York City's suburbs

New York stands alone among its peer states—coastal states with high housing costs and healthy regional economies—in giving its local governments such broad authority over local land use. The result is a state with fewer homes, more expensive rents, and starker segregation than it would otherwise have. By some measures, New York has the most exclusionary zoning in the country. This paper offers a guide for New York State to follow, and improve upon, its peer states and reform its broken suburban land use process.

NYU Furman Center • November 9, 2020

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LIHTC preservation and the need for rental assistance

This year marks an important milestone in federal housing policy. Homes financed through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, our nation’s largest affordable housing production program, are reaching the end of their federally mandated 30-year affordability restrictions for the first time.

Shelterforce • November 18, 2020

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An equitable framework for housing policy solutions for Covid-19 and beyond

Housing is a foundation for economic mobility and opportunity, but many Americans struggle to afford a place to live. And racist policies and practices—historical and ongoing—have created entrenched inequities in access to homeownership, housing quality, and resource-rich neighborhoods. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these problems worse.

Record levels of job losses, tightening credit markets, and a growing risk of evictions and foreclosures threaten housing stability. The loss of low-cost units, low vacancy rates, and housing construction downturns could reduce housing supply. Homeowners and housing developers may also face greater risks in the future because of weak labor market conditions and broader economic uncertainty.

Urban Institute • November 18, 2020

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