June 2013

The New Era of Affordable Housing - Volume 25, Issue 1

This issue of Community Investments asks how different stakeholders within the affordable housing industry are looking ahead and considering adjustments to their practices, in order to continue to provide affordable homes in a challenging fiscal environment. In this issue, we take a look inside affordable housing practitioners’ thought processes around current affordable housing challenges, and look at the beginnings of innovative models for the new housing paradigm. We examine new public-private funding partnership models, and consider innovations underway within existing housing programs that could streamline the development process and encourage more efficient construction of safe and stable affordable homes. We learn about new cross-sector efforts with health care, transportation, and energy efficiency practitioners in which affordable housing serves as a crucial base to support resilient neighborhoods, and discover how service-enriched housing helps the most vulnerable members of our communities to lead fuller lives in a more stable environment.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or the Federal Reserve System. Material herein may be reprinted or abstracted provided Community Investments is credited. Please provide our Community Development Department with a copy of any publication in which material is reprinted.

Read the full issue (pdf, 2.2 mb)

Table of Contents

CI Notebook

The need for affordable homes has grown at an unprecedented rate over the past five years, ignited by the housing-centered recession of 2007-2009 and continuously fueled by the changing needs and preferences of the American population. Even as housing markets recover, a growing number of Americans, including homeowners and renters of all income levels, struggle to find reasonably priced homes or keep the homes they have.

Challenges for Affordable Housing in a New Era of Scarcity

A discussion of the challenges facing affordable housing after the recession, and how the emergence of innovative models can help affordable housing development, finance, and policy evolve in this new landscape.

Diversification of Capital Creates Fresh Focus

Learn how practitioners in public policy, public investment, and private development are working together to create new financing strategies for affordable housing.

New Paths to Housing and Transportation Affordability

Reducing parking and focusing on transit-oriented development allows affordable housing developers to direct housing funds efficiently into more housing units instead of excess parking space.

Putting Housing Program Delivery into High Gear

A look at how affordable housing advocates are working with the U.S.

The Other Housing Crisis: Rental Housing

The focus on foreclosures has overshadowed the rapidly growing need for more affordable rental homes in the United States. How can governments at the local, state, and federal level develop policy solutions to improve and increase the supply of affordable rental housing and assist lower-income renters?

Connecting Housing and Health Care through Community Development

Learn about a cross-sector initiative linking affordable homes with health care facilities to comprehensively address community needs and improve well-being for lower-income residents.

Social Impact Bonds: A Promising Tool for the Future of Permanent Supportive Housing

Housing practitioners are building on the pay-for-success model to fund housing and services for homeless and hardest-to-serve individuals.

Improving Financial Stability by Building the Capacity of the Local Community

A look at a Nevada initiative to reduce foreclosure and stabilize communities through financial education, community-wide asset building strategies, and collaboration with financial institutions.

The Partnership for the Green Dividend

How sustainability can protect the environment while creating employment and economic opportunities on the local level.

Research Briefs


Data Snapshot