It sure doesn’t look like Congress will provide big new resources for affordable housing and community development this year (I’ve learned to avoid statements of absolutes, but this year is testing my resolve). So people and organizations looking to create affordable homes and revive struggling neighborhoods are finding new ideas that work in a low-subsidy environment. NHC is working to encourage creative community development efforts that put housing at the intersection of health, education, economic development, transportation and more.
Just a few examples of housing solutions that put housing at the intersection of health, education, economic development, transportation, public safety and more:
Smarter property management that can turn properties and neighborhoods around by engaging residents, meeting needs better and faster and being part of an overall community revitalization strategy.
Public safety officials partnering with housing organizations to change the approach to crime prevention by building trust, altering the built environment for more security and helping police officers connect with community members.
Building on opportunities created by the Affordable Care Act to make affordable housing part of a comprehensive strategy to improve the health of low-income individuals.
Mapping land at the parcel level to connect many layers of information that can inform policymaking and development efforts.
Participants in our Restoring Neighborhoods Task Force have heard about all of these, and many more. If you want to explore further, come to our Solutions for Restoring Neighborhoods event in New Orleans, November 5-6, where in-depth workshops and plenary sessions will explore cutting edge ideas for comprehensive community development centered on housing.
Even with our strongest advocacy, it will be a heavy lift for Congress to provide new funds for affordable housing and community development, at least this year. Eventually, however, members of Congress will find an opportunity to allocate the resources that build loyal constituencies. When they do, let’s make sure affordable housing can point to proven solutions that can change lives and communities for the better.