Housing Solutions Workshop Participants Announced
October 20th 2021
Five Cities and Counties to Participate in Virtual Sessions after National Call for Applications
New York, NY — The NYU Furman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab, Abt Associates, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy announced today that five localities have been selected to participate in the Housing Solutions Workshop — a program to help small and midsize communities develop and implement comprehensive local housing strategies. The selections include Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Gallatin County, Montana; Huntsville, Alabama; Kalamazoo County, Michigan; and Pasco, Washington. Senior officials from key housing agencies and regional partners in these communities will take part in a series of virtual sessions led by prominent housing experts and researchers.
“There is innovation and energy coming from small and midsize places to address housing affordability and other critical housing challenges,” said Martha Galvez, Executive Director of the Housing Solutions Lab. “This Housing Solutions Workshop will help connect and coordinate these efforts, both within participating communities and among a national group of peers dealing with similar challenges.”
Between 1960 and 2016, national median income rose by about 11 percent in real terms while the real value of median gross rents rose by 80 percent. Research shows that the growing rent burden on American households has real consequences -- more stable, affordable housing is associated with better outcomes related to health, education, and earnings. Local governments have a major role to play in addressing this affordability crisis, yet in contrast to the broad network of advocates, think tanks, and researchers focused on federal housing policy, only a handful of organizations focus on helping local governments develop more effective local housing strategies. Moreover, large cities often dominate conversations about local housing policy, even though 85 million people live in cities of between 50,000 - 500,000 people.
The selected communities were chosen following a national Call for Applications that generated a number of competitive applications. The process included written submissions, as well as an interview round with applicants, who were ultimately selected to build a cohort of communities at similar stages of the planning process, and representing a broad national geography. The Workshop will begin on October 25, and run through November 18.
The selected cities and counties are grappling with a wide range of challenges and housing market conditions. Places like Huntsville, AL and Gallatin County, MT are growing rapidly, and confronting the housing cost pressure that comes with high demand. Other participants like Bethlehem, PA and Kalamazoo County, MI have seen more modest population growth since 2000, but none-the-less face affordability issues, particularly for low-income households, as rent and home price growth outpaced income gains. Pasco, WA is planning for future growth, which cannot be accommodated under current zoning. The Housing Solutions Workshop will provide technical assistance, peer learning opportunities, and policy guidance for all of these challenges, leveraging the extensive resources available on Local Housing Solutions.
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.
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 furmancenter.org 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 combatting 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.
About the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy seeks to improve quality of life through the effective use, taxation, and stewardship of land. A nonprofit private operating foundation whose origins date to 1946, the Lincoln Institute researches and recommends creative approaches to land as a solution to economic, social, and environmental challenges. Through education, training, publications, and events, we integrate theory and practice to inform public policy decisions worldwide.