State & Local Policy

Enterprise’s State & Local Policy team works in state houses and city halls across the country to increase local resources for affordable housing, use existing resources more effectively and ensure that America’s rental housing stock is sustainable for the long-term. We approach policy and advocacy by working with local partners through coalitions, building relationships with policymakers and providing recommendations based on best practice.

We also coordinate the High-Cost Cities Housing Forum, a peer-to-peer group comprised of the local housing commissioners from nine of the most expensive cities in the United States. The forum serves as a venue for policymakers to discuss housing policy, offer program ideas and exchange best practices.


Where We Work

Enterprise has a deep presence in 11 markets across the country, where we are working with state and local policymakers to develop the policies, resources and programs necessary to address the housing problems facing their communities. The smaller circles on the map below indicate the 500-plus communities where Enterprise Advisors – our public consulting and technical assistance team – has partnered with local stakeholders and others on tough challenges and strategic opportunities.

 

While our specific priorities vary from market to market, our State & Local Policy work focuses on four general areas of public policy:

  • Expanding Local Resources: Maximize funding for key housing programs, and establish state and local housing trust funds with dedicated revenue sources.
     
  • Supporting Inclusive Development: Engage private developers through inclusionary zoning where appropriate, and establish land use and other regulations that promote the cost-effective development of multifamily housing.
     
  • Promoting Racial Equity and Economic Opportunity: Connect low-income families to jobs, quality schools, transit and other essential resources, while working with policymakers to develop comprehensive plans for addressing residential segregation and housing discrimination.
     
  • Protecting Low-Income Renters: Establish protections for all renters from unnecessary evictions and other forms of forced displacement.

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Our Policy Priorities

Below is a summary of the highest-priority policy and advocacy efforts in each of our 11 markets for 2021 and beyond:

Chicago:

  • Advocate for state bill to lower property taxes on affordable housing that will keep rents affordable in higher cost markets and promote investment in lower cost markets.
  • Advocate for state affordable housing tax credit to increase supply of affordable housing production statewide by 1,000 units/year.
  • Finalize Racial Equity Impact Assessment of Chicago’s Qualified Allocation Plan and advocate for implementation of recommendations.
  • Support Enterprise Advisors in completion of Cook County Assessment of Fair Housing and develop implementation/advocacy agenda with partners.
  • Support passage and implementation of Chicago’s eTOD policy plan and pilot together with partners in Elevated Chicago.

Denver:

  • Enact tenant protections that prevent eviction and keep people stably housed through the Covid pandemic, an equitable recovery, and beyond.
  • Secure robust funding for emergency Covid response and long-term creation and preservation -of affordable housing.
  • Support agencies implementing emergency assistance and nonprofit housing providers in efforts to keep all those eligible for rental assistance housed. 
  • Take meaningful steps to promote racial equity and reverse decades-old patterns of residential segregation and housing discrimination. 
  • Advance efforts to promote inclusive growth, particularly through eliminating zoning barriers to accessible, healthy, affordable housing.

Detroit:

  • Advance policies to preserve at-risk affordable housing units, with focus on “naturally occurring affordable housing.”
  • Introduce and pass legislation establishing tax fairness for community land trusts to increase access to affordable homeownership. 
  • Advance eviction protection policies, with focus on increased resources for eviction prevention and establishing right-to-counsel for housing cases. 
  • Advocate for land contract reforms, with focus on expanding protections and supports for land contract buyers 
  • Advocate for a permanent funding source for the Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund.
  • Advocate for source-of-income protections to ensure renters with non-traditional income sources have equal access to rental housing.

Gulf Coast:

  • Partner with local officials on the city’s land use and zoning changes to promote fair housing and incentives for building more affordable housing.
  • Advocate for housing protections in response to Covid-19, including technical assistance on effective policies and procedures for rental assistance funding. 
  • Partner with statewide organizations to strengthen Low Income Housing Tax Credit policies and allocation. 
  • Partner with local officials on hurricane recovery and resilience efforts. 
  • Advocate for policies that direct housing resources to underserved areas.

Mid-Atlantic:

  • Work with public and private sector leaders across the mid-Atlantic region, in coalitions and as policy advisor/advocate, to secure critical resources that advance housing preservation, rehabilitation and production.
  • Pursue adoption of Washington, D.C. Comprehensive Plan amendments with clear racial equity priorities, measurements, and accountability.
  • Work with Maryland state and local governments to use findings and pursue recommendations of the 2020 Housing Needs Assessment.
  • Work with Commonwealth of Virginia to seek solutions addressing housing and related systemic inequities identified by the Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law.
  • Work with state and local governments on best practices in COVID-19 relief resources, programs, and data collection to ensure prompt and equitable distribution in communities
  • Pursue policies that promote greater tenant and low-income homeowner protections and greater housing stability across the Mid-Atlantic.
  • Support Maryland state legislative efforts on “Housing Justice” packages to coordinate courts, local resources, and tenants and landlords to prevent evictions, foreclosure, and housing instability.

New York:

  • Advocate for policies to prevent evictions once moratoria expire, including improvements to existing voucher programs and efficient programming of federal rent relief funds. 
  • As part of the New York City Family Homelessness Coalition, advance reforms aimed at preventing family homelessness, improving the well-being of children and families in shelter, and supporting long-term stability. 
  • Put forth a proposed state housing budget with a coalition of partners to guarantee continuous funding for the diverse housing needs of New York State, and advocate to make it a requirement that a state housing budget is adopted every five years.
  • Advance statewide fair housing policies, including exploring a fair-share housing plan to establish a minimum affordable housing goal in every community, and advocating for increased protections for justice-involved individuals. 
  • Support the advocacy work of our partners to expand resources for public housing, senior housing and supportive housing, among other priorities.

Northern California:

  • Advocate for an equitable Regional Housing Needs Assessment for the Bay Area that affirmatively furthers fair housing; engage in local housing element updates to ensure effective implementation. 
  • Serve on Technical Advisory Committee for Regional Transit-Oriented Development Policy and provide technical guidance and advocacy for an equitable TOD policy.
  • Continue to support the development of the new Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), including advocating to secure a State budget appropriation of $18.5 million for pilot programs. 
  • Advocate for continued investment in foundational State affordable housing program, including an extension of the $500 million Low-Income Housing Tax Credit expansion and maintaining the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program at 20 percent of continuous appropriations for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
  • Pass State legislation to support acquisition and preservation of small- to mid-sized unsubsidized affordable housing, including a statewide technical assistance program, a State budget appropriation for financing, and a statewide right of first offer and refusal.

Ohio:

  • Protect tenants by advocating for source of income protections and eviction prevention measures in Cuyahoga County and across the state.
  • Promote equitable development by developing and advocating for statewide property tax relief and improved property tax abatement policies.
  • Preserve and expand affordable housing resources including the Ohio Housing Trust Fund and the creation of a state housing tax credit program.
  • Assist state and local partners in an equitable Covid response and recovery by providing technical assistance and advocating for new rental assistance programs and critical safety net services. 
  • Ensure the health and stability of residents, especially Black-led households, by leading the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, implementing the Lead Safe Certification, securing investments into the Lead Safe Home Fund, and advocating for lead poisoning prevention across the state.
  • Support new resources for affordable housing, vulnerable populations, and community revitalization through Cleveland’s 10-year housing strategy, the creation of a strategy for justice-involved housing, policies to expand access to capital.

Pacific Northwest:

  • Advance the use of publicly owned sites for affordable housing, especially for community development projects led by BIPOC communities
  • Expand state and local funding for affordable housing, and advance policy to improve the use of existing funding programs
  • Renew state capital budget support for early learning facilities and for the Washington Early Learning Loan Fund
  • Protect tenants against evictions sparked by Covid-related economic hardships or health issues
  • Advance policy to reform exclusionary land use policies

Southeast:

  • Preserve the State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit at the current 100% match to the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. 
  • Update the Urban Enterprise Zone law to expand the geographic eligibility for affordable housing preservation and development.
  • Reduce unnecessary penalties and excess expenses to both tenants and landlords by requiring 7-day written notice with the opportunity to cure failure-to-pay eviction filings. 
  • Adopt laws which protect tenants from the housing insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Repeal laws which have a discriminatory impact on access to and the quality of housing in Georgia.

Southern California:

  • Advocate for policies that will address the long-term physical and financial needs of “at-risk” affordable housing, including permanent supportive housing, that allow affordable housing providers to maintain affordability, address energy efficiency, seismic and accessibility improvements, and overall improve project viability. 
  • Work with public agencies at the local level to adopt policies, including hardship relief options, that ensure the long-term viability of affordable housing properties, owners, and residents, especially neighborhood-based and POC-led CDCs 
  • Ensure Californians experiencing homelessness can be re-housed as quickly as possible, in the most appropriate housing placement, and provided responsive, culturally informed supportive services to facilitate recover and housing retention
  • Advocate for the preservation of unsubsidized affordable housing 
  • Advocate for policies that ensure neighborhood stabilization and prevent displacement
  • Advocate for policies that support upward mobility through affordable housing
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