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 10 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.

policy-state-local_mapdenverdetroitnew york citysoutheastgulf-coastohiochicagopacific-northwestnorthern californiasouthern californiamid-atlantic

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.


Other State & Local Policy Resources

Enterprise’s Long-Term Policy Platform: An Investment in Opportunity: A Bold New Vision for Housing Policy in the U.S.

Local Regulations: Bending the Cost Curve: Solutions to Expand the Supply of Affordable Rentals

Local Ballot Initiatives: 9 Housing Ballot Initiatives in the 2016 Election

High-Cost Cities Housing Forum: Recap of the 2016 HCHF Retreat in Seattle


Below is a summary of the highest-priority policy and advocacy efforts in each of our 10 markets for 2018 and beyond:

New York:

  • Leading a Lawful Source of Income coalition advocating for statewide protections that make it illegal for landlords to discriminate based on source of income
  • Advancing state legislation that would provide funding for a senior service coordinator program in senior affordable housing
  • Advocating for a rent cap at 1/3 of income in the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program as well as increased outreach and awareness
  • Advancing the recommendations of the Family Homelessness Task Force, co-convened by Enterprise, on homelessness prevention, in-shelter improvements, and post-shelter needs
  • Advancing fair housing policies in the NYC region through an Affordable and Fair Housing Regional Roundtable co-convened by Enterprise
  • Ensuring NYCHA receives adequate resources from all levels of government
  • Reforming NYC’s rent stabilization laws to protect tenants, and reduce the number of units that become deregulated, and curb displacement
  • Advocating for long-term funding commitments from the city and state for the full 35,000 units statewide over 15 years
  • Monitoring city and state policy initiatives aimed at reducing GHG emissions and how these proposals could impact our affordable housing partners
  • Exploring rural rental housing and justice-informed supportive housing policy initiatives


  • Supporting the work of the Baltimore Preservation Task Force
  • Engaging as leader of a coalition to design recommendations for implementation and a dedicated source of revenue for City of Baltimore local trust fund
  • Advancing regional efforts for systems changes in the Washington, DC metro region, particularly through leadership roles in the Purple Line Corridor Coalition and the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington
  • Participating in budget and policy efforts at the local level in the District of Columbia, the city of Baltimore and suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia
  • Grassroots and corporate board room organizing to bring employers into the conversation

Northern California:

  • Creating, protecting, and expanding dedicated funding sources for new affordable housing, and strengthening requirements and incentives to develop low-income housing
  • Protecting funding for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program under GGRF appropriations
  • Supporting SB3, the state affordable housing bond measure on November 2018 ballot
  • Advancing state and regional preservation strategies, including for unsubsidized, unregulated housing that is affordable to low-income households
  • Developing and advancing policies that further the equitable and fair distribution of affordable housing choices for low-income households, that prevent further segregation and poverty concentration, and that increase access to opportunities for low-income families
  • Coordinating the California Fair Housing Taskforce; overseeing ongoing management of California Opportunity Maps and supporting new fair housing related research for State Agencies
  • Strengthening equitable outcomes of RHNA and addressing statewide fair share challenges
  • Advancing fair housing policies in state and regional regulations, planning and program development
  • Advancing state and regional anti-displacement and protection policies

Pacific NW :

  • Facilitating the use of public and tax-exempt land for the development of affordable housing and facility space for services that benefit residents and the community
  • Implementing a state bill passed in 2017 to set up an Early Learning Facilities Fund and a state bill passed in 2018 to better utilize publicly owned land for affordable housing. Working together with a variety of partners and King County, assist with priorities for use of the ST3TAA funds, with a focus on use for early learning facilities.
  • Using the Home and Hope platform, explore policy and propose modifications for policies that affect the development mixed-use buildings that include both affordable housing and facilities, such as early learning, that provide services to residents and the community on the same site. Areas to be explored include licensing, financing constraints, wage determinations and related issues.
  • Supporting and advancing in developing 2019 platform of state legislation to aggressively and creatively address the State’s affordable housing challenges. Preliminary agenda includes: authorize local options to address affordable housing crisis, including Sales Tax remittance, real estate excise tax and authority to impose a housing sales tax; modifications to the ST3 Legislation to use sales tax (ST3TAA) for Sound Transit projects for the benefit of low-income youth and education.

Southeast :

  • Expanding local resources for affordable housing, supporting inclusive development, working with policymakers to develop plans for addressing residential segregation and protecting low-income renters, including:
    • Working to ensure the Affordable Housing agenda is adopted by the new mayor of Atlanta
    • Advocating for the passage of Housing Trust Fund legislation
    • Advocating for policies that prevent the involuntary displacement of existing residents from rapidly changing neighborhoods
  • Developing policy priorities and recommendations for immediate engagement of the new Mayor and City Council members on the Mayor’s commitment of $1 billion for affordable housing over the next 10 years.
  • Providing follow-up research and analysis on options for designated revenue sources for affordable housing in the City of Atlanta.
  • Conducting a deeper examination of several funding options, with best practices from other cities, revenue potential, and recommendations.
  • Developing a communications system and social media campaign designed to ensure citizens are educated, mobilized, and engaged in the "City for All" Affordable Housing Coalition.
  • Creating a vision and roadmap for housing policy in Atlanta and Miami and identify where Enterprise can lead and where we can support other leaders in this space.

Southern California:

  • Expanding resources for the development of quality, affordable homes, and policies that make it easier to site and build those homes
  • Increasing resources and expanding policies that preserve existing unsubsidized and subsidized affordable homes, including permanent supportive housing
  • Preventing low-income residents from falling into homelessness and creating a path towards improved housing stability
  • More quickly housing the homeless through improvements to the housing delivery system
  • Supporting and crafting cross-sector investments that support equitable, inclusive and resilient communities


  • Advocating for ‘Right to Cure’ legislation that would help prevent eviction by ensuring tenants have sufficient time to pay overdue rent regardless of the source of payment and extending the grace period from three to 14 days.
  • Supporting legislation that requires landlords to provide renters with a copy of a lease and a receipt for rent payments made with cash or a money order.
  • Advocating for Landlord-Tenant Warranty of Habitability, which would require an enhanced standard of the landlord’s duty to maintain rented space, vacant spaces and common areas in a habitable condition.
  • Improving access to housing by enacting limits on the amount a landlord can charge for an application relative to the costs incurred, and no landlord may charge a fee when the landlord knows, or should know that no rental unit is available or will become available in a reasonable period of time.
  • Pushing for a local Rental Registry and Licensing program. Rental registration and licensing is a proactive approach to ensure rental units are documented by a city, are safe to be inhabited, and to assist with the enforcement of any other requirements such as building codes, posting requirements, lease or rental receipt requirements, occupancy limits, or others.

Gulf Coast:

  • Building relationships with new Mayor and City Council in New Orleans and support the implementation of sound polices and increased funding for affordable housing
  • Advocating for adoption of an inclusionary zoning ordinance in New Orleans, and fight against IZ preemption laws at the state level
  • Promoting a healthy regulatory and property tax environment for LIHTC properties, and advocate for improvements to QAP to increase awards in high opportunity areas
  • Supporting recovery and resilience efforts in Texas and Louisiana
  • Supporting implementation of the New Orleans’ fair housing plan, with a focus on diversifying landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program
  • Supporting state and local housing coalitions and trade organizations and help amplify their impact
  • Maintaining and growing relationships with Congressional delegation and supporting Enterprise federal policy priorities


  • Pursuing City of Cleveland affordable housing policies, potentially including: inclusionary housing/workforce housing requirements, updated property tax abatement legislation, and implementation of the neighborhood initiative.
  • Leading Cuyahoga County Housing Stakeholder Group, advocate for and track the implementation of a new County Housing Plan, and advocate for dedicated local affordable housing resources.
  • Helping to plan and execute a Housing Trust Fund education series with state policymakers.
  • Convening stakeholders and organize feedback on State Qualified Allocation Plan and advocate for Enterprise priorities as well as local and statewide partner priorities.
  • Leading Fair Housing Working Group and advance Both/And agenda through: Regional AFFH planning, Creation of a voucher mobility pilot program, and Drafting of local source of income protections.


  • Advance property tax relief to incentivize preservation and construction of affordable housing in Cook County.
  • In partnership with Oak Park Regional Housing Center and the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, advance Fair Housing in the Chicago metro area through education and outreach.
  • As a founding member of Elevated Chicago, develop and implement a policy platform to promote racial equity, prosperity, and resiliency in Chicago communities through equitable transit oriented development.
  • Working with DCEO, City of Chicago, and other key partners to align Opportunity Zone designations with Elevated Chicago transit station areas.


  • Working with City of Detroit and CDFI Coalition to develop a coordinated investment strategy and policy recommendations to preserve at-risk affordable housing in neighborhoods.    
  • Advising MSHDA on 2019-2020 QAP and strategic designation of Opportunity Zones.
  • Building a broad-based coalition of support for regional transit and TOD in the Detroit metro area through outreach and engagement of “grass roots and grass tops.”
  • Advocating for energy efficiency programs at the state and local level that benefit low-income families, with focus on local challenges related to resiliency and storm water management.


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