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Promote Affordable Housing

State policymakers can support and expand policies that increase affordable housing options for low- and moderate-income families. Affordable housing policies are foundational to school policies, community development strategies and transportation. While most zoning and development for housing happens at the local level, state policymakers are in a position to promote and enable the development and maintenance of affordable housing as well as to ensure that residents are protected and provided with needed supports.  Policies that enable the development of sustainable, affordable housing options, support and strengthen federal housing programs, provide housing protections for low-income families, and coordinate access to services and support asset building are all ways to improve affordable housing options for families in your state.

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Research affiliate of the National Housing Conference (NHC), the Center for Housing Policy (CHP), provided guidance for the development of these strategies. NHC and the Center are national leaders in advancing policy to promote housing affordability.

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According to the report Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity: The Demographics of a Crisis, an estimated 8% of both African Americans and Latinos have lost their homes to foreclosures, compared to 4.5% of whites. The racial and ethnic disparities in these rates hold even after controlling for differences in income patterns between groups.

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Based on the findings in Montgomery County, Maryland, “Housing Policy is School Policy” argues for providing low-income families a chance to live where their children can attend low-poverty public schools.  Inclusionary zoning and scattered site public housing are two strong tools to achieve this result.

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Analysis in Housing Landscape 2011 found that, in every state, at least one in ten working households paid more than 50% of their income for housing.  Between 2008 and 2009, the share of working households with severe cost burden rose significantly in 25 states and held steady in the rest.