Press Releases

2023 Housing Solutions Workshop to Work with Five Small and Midsize Cities Addressing Local Housing Challenges

October 10th 2023

Five Cities Selected to Develop Comprehensive Housing Strategies in Virtual Workshop Series

New York –  The NYU Furman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab and Abt Associates announced the five cities selected to participate in the third annual Housing Solutions Workshop, an intensive training program to help small and midsize cities and counties – populations with 50,000 to 500,000 people – address housing challenges through the development of local housing strategies. The participants include: Georgetown, KY; Jackson, TN; Jefferson City, MO; Roanoke, VA; and Springfield, MA.

Cities around the country are facing an affordable housing crisis, and it’s more important than ever for local leaders to use strategic, evidence-informed policies to meet their housing policy goals,” said Martha Galvez, Executive Director of the Housing Solutions Lab. “Housing is the lynchpin of so many interconnected challenges facing small and midsize cities, and we’re eager  to support this year’s group of innovators.”

National data show dramatic increases in rent and home prices over the last year, while the rental vacancy rate is at its lowest level in almost 40 years. The housing market volatility since the pandemic has been especially daunting for local policy makers. 

All of the selected cities pointed to the strong need to preserve and create more affordable units. Georgetown, KY’s and Jackson, TN’s populations are rapidly growing, which has led to a strain on existing housing resources. A recent study found that half of renters in Roanoke, VA are cost-burdened, and 26 percent of residents in Springfield, MA live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, Jefferson City, MO is still recovering from a 2019 tornado that destroyed much of its housing stock. Learn more about the selected cities.

With housing costs continuing to put pressure on renters and prospective homebuyers, local governments can benefit from resources and technical assistance to help them navigate these challenges and build housing that meets the needs of residents. Small and midsize cities often are uniquely positioned to develop and implement local housing strategies as they enjoy more regulatory and policy flexibility than large cities. 

The Housing Solutions Workshop will lead a series of virtual sessions featuring prominent housing experts and researchers to help participants leverage these benefits and provide additional support through policy guidance and peer learning opportunities. Each community will have a delegation of housing officials participate in a series of seminars, strategic planning exercises, and team-building exercises to improve housing affordability and address other housing issues in their locality. 

The 2023 Housing Solutions Workshop participants are the third cohort of this program which launched in 2021. Previous selected participants include Arvada, CO; Billings, MT; Gresham, OR; Lancaster County, PA; New Haven, CT; Bethlehem, PA; Gallatin County, MT; Huntsville, AL; Kalamazoo County, MI; and Pasco, WA. Read an interview with a past participant.


About the Housing Solutions Lab

The Housing Solutions Lab at the NYU Furman Center helps small and midsize cities plan, launch, and evaluate evidence-based local housing policies that advance racial equity; increase access to opportunity; and improve long-term health and wellbeing for residents. More information can be found at and @local_housing.                

About the NYU Furman Center

The NYU Furman Center advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy. Established in 1995, it is a joint center of the New York University School of Law and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. More information can be found at and @FurmanCenterNYU.

About Abt Associates

Abt associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. From combating infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges. More information can be found at and @abtassociates.