2022 Housing Solutions Workshop Helps Small and Midsize Cities Address Local Housing Challenges

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

New York – RealEstateRama – The NYU Furman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab, Abt Associates, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy announced the five cities and counties selected to participate in the second annual Housing Solutions Workshop, an intensive training program to help small and midsize cities and counties address housing challenges through the development of local housing strategies. The selections include Arvada, Colorado; Billings, Montana; Gresham, Oregon; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; and New Haven, Connecticut. Learn more about the Workshop.

“The chosen applicants demonstrated creativity and commitment to addressing affordability challenges, and an understanding of the pivotal role that housing can play in promoting resident health and addressing historical racial disparities,” said Martha Galvez, Executive Director of the Housing Solutions Lab. “They represent a broad national geography, and were chosen from an exceptionally strong group of cities that applied.”

The affordability challenges and housing conditions facing the selected localities are echoed by many small and midsize cities across the country. New Haven, CT and Lancaster, PA both face high rates of cost-burdened households and aging housing stocks. Arvada, CO’s affordable rental housing stock has significantly declined, with the share of rental housing available for less than $1,000 per month falling from 45.3 percent in 2015 to 16.1 percent in 2020. The median rent in Gresham, OR has grown 53.4 percent since 2010, while the median family income has grown only 20.5 percent over the same period. Additionally, several selected cities pointed to racial disparities in housing as a pressing concern. Learn more about the selected cities.

Despite these challenges, small and midsize cities -populations with 50,000 to 500,000 people- 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 help participants leverage these benefits and provide additional support policy guidance and learning opportunities from peers facing similar challenges. 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 2022 Housing Solutions Workshop participants are the second cohort of this program, launched in 2021. The inaugural group included Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Gallatin County, Montana; Hunstville, Alabama; Kalamazoo County, Michigan, and Pasco, Washington. Read an interview with a past participant on the Housing Solutions Lab’s blog.

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.

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