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Publications

Housing Intersections
Housing and Asset Building

Publications in this section highlight the many ways in which affordable housing can help advance other important community objectives, such as good health, educational achievement, individual asset building, and economic development. The Center’s work in this area seeks both to clarify and document the benefits of affordable housing and to suggest ways to structure affordable housing to better achieve these broader goals.


Apr 17, 2015
Featured

The Connectivity Gap: The Internet is Still Out of Reach for Many Low-Income Renters

Lisa Sturtevant

Most of us use the Internet in all facets of our lives: forwork, education, medical care, entertainment,shopping, and innumerable daily tasks.Having a reliable broadband connectionat home makes all sorts of tasks easier,faster, and cheaper. Yet far too manylow-income households do not have evena basic broadband connection at home. To help achieve affordable broadband connectivity for all, the National Housing Conference(NHC) convened a Connectivity Working Group to recommend policy changes. The groupdraws from affordable housing developers, public agencies, policy experts, capital providers,national intermediaries, and more, all committed to the shared mission of closing the digitaldivide for low-income people. The recommendations presented here draw on the expertise ofthe Connectivity Working Group, the policy briefs from NHC’s Center for Housing Policy, andadvice from other stakeholders. We

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Keywords: broadband, connectivity, internet, Affordable Housing


Feb 3, 2015
Featured

Public Land & Affordable Housing in the Washington, DC Region: Best Practices and Recommendations

Robert Hickey and Lisa Sturtevant

Reducing the land costs of a residential project can be a valuable way to foster housing affordability for lower-income residents in the Washington, DC metro area. Given the region’s strong economy, growing population, and shortage of available land in desirable locations, the Washington, DC area is home to some of the highest land costs nationwide, making it difficult to build housing that is priced at levels affordable to low- and moderate-income households. By offering publicly owned land at reduced or no cost to developers, communities can reduce overall development costs significantly and make affordable housing possible with much lower direct public subsidy.

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Keywords: Affordable Housing, Public Land


Jun 3, 2014
Featured

Strengthening Economic Self-Sufficiency Programs: How Housing Authorities Can Use Behavioral and Cognitive Science to Improve Programs

Maya Brennan

Toxic stress resulting from persistent poverty, trauma and social bias can hijack brain functions and lead to impulsive, ‘fight-or-flight’ behavior patterns that may impede individuals’ economic progress. How can public housing authorities (PHAs) use this information to design economic self-sufficiency programs that accommodate the needs of affected residents and reduce reliance on public assistance? A new report applies lessons from behavioral and cognitive science to give PHAs new insight into programs that can support residents’ economic progress. 

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Keywords: economic self-sufficiency, Family Self Sufficiency, poverty programs, brain science, housing finance agencies


Jan 10, 2012
Featured

More Than a Roof: Case Studies of Public Housing Agency Initiatives to Increase Residents’ Economic Security

Maya Brennan and Jeff Lubell

This brief from the Center for Housing Policy describes efforts by some public housing authorities to help residents achieve economic security through efforts such as asset-building programs as including Family Self Sufficiency and Housing Choice Vouchers. With housing assistance currently available to only about one in four families who need it, and no prospects for increased federal funding on the horizon, many of these PHAs see economic security efforts as essential for expanding the number of families able to benefit from rental assistance. By helping families that currently receive housing assistance to make progress toward economic security, the PHAs that run these initiatives hope to free up rental assistance for other families.

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Keywords: Asset Building, Public Housing, Family Self Sufficiency, Housing Choice Vouchers


Nov 2, 2011
Featured

How Housing Matters: Leveraging Housing Assistance to Strengthen Family Economic Security

Maya Brennan

This case study, one of three prepared by the Center for Housing Policy presented at the National Building Museum's How Housing Matters Conference, describes a long-standing program that uses secure and affordable housing, provided through voucher assistance and public housing, to improve residents' economic opportunities.

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Keywords: Housing and Asset Building, Housing and Economic Development, Housing Affordability