Local Voices Informing Federal Action: A symposium on home affordability

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
Washington, District of Columbia
Thursday, February 13, 2020 11:00 am to 2:30 pm
The National Press Club 529 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20045

With the recent launch of our national Cost of Home advocacy campaign and the urgent need to address home affordability on a national scale, we welcome the opportunity to convene diverse stakeholders for an important discussion on how local and state action can inform policy solutions at the federal level. The symposium will contribute to the overall national dialogue on housing affordability and further the Cost of Home Federal Policy Agenda and other policy solutions to solve for home affordability.

Between two plenaries, attendees will choose to attend a breakout session of one of these four topics:

Increasing the supply and preservation of affordable homes

Throughout the country, communities are experiencing a shortage of safe, decent, and affordable homes. Federal housing programs provide crucial resources, but it’s not enough for towns and cities to solve their housing challenges. This session will highlight creative ways localities and cities are addressing the supply and preservation needs in their community and discuss what federal action needs to be taken.

Equitably increasing access to credit

Unaffordable down payments are one of the biggest barriers to achieving homeownership, particularly for low-wealth households. Though the federal government has not taken sufficient action to address this disparity, local and state governments are adopting programs to increase homeownership opportunities to historically disadvantaged groups. This workshop will feature a discussion with local and state experts about innovative down payment assistance programs and what lessons can be learned from this local/state action to inspire movement at the federal level.

Optimizing land use for affordable homes

Overly restrictive zoning and other land use regulations can make it prohibitively expensive to build affordable homes that meet local needs. But new policy breakthroughs at the state and local levels are starting to make it easier to build a diversity of affordable home types in a wider range of communities. Policymakers and advocates fresh from these land use reform efforts will reflect on what lessons can be learned from recent successes, and how the federal government can encourage other states and localities to enact zoning reforms that increase affordability.

Ensuring access to and the development of communities of opportunity

The Cost of Home is not purely defined by the building within which you live. This session will highlight local policies successfully providing access to affordable housing in high opportunity areas through mobility support programs as well as place-based programs that provide support to neighborhoods that have seen long-term disinvestment. It will also highlight how these local successes can improve the development of federal housing policy to strengthen communities.


The symposium will take place from 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM on Thursday, February 13 at The National Press Club. Registration and networking will take place from 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM. Lunch will be provided.

Habitat for Humanity
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