Affordable Housing

Program Financing and Policies in U.S. States

Authored by: Victoria Basolo

The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138188433
eBook ISBN: 9781315642338
Adobe ISBN:


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U.S. states have historically played a relatively minor role in affordable housing policy. However, increasingly, this level of government has engaged in efforts to address housing needs such as housing cost and the related under supply of rental and ownership housing, particularly for low- and moderate-income households. States use a variety of approaches to address housing needs. These approaches include the adoption of policies encouraging or requiring localities to take actions toward meeting housing goals and the administration and financing of programs vital to providing affordable housing and promoting housing choices for residents. Such actions, however, vary across states, and we know less about state housing actions compared to federal housing initiatives. In this chapter, the focus is on state housing policies and programs with an emphasis on approaches to financing affordable housing. I first provide an overview of common types of state housing policies and programs and then present a brief case study of housing actions in California, a politically progressive state that employs an array of approaches to address its housing needs. My thesis is that while states continue to be dependent on federal funding for affordable housing provision, they can supplement federal programs through unique approaches such as housing trust funds.

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