On Wednesday, June 1st, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the Our Way Home initiative, a new effort to boost the nation’s affordable housing supply that considers equity, inclusivity, and sustainability.
Our Way Home focuses on the unique housing supply successes in local communities. It will connect cities, counties, Tribal communities, states, and U.S. Territories to the tools and resources needed to help preserve and produce affordable housing in their area. The initiative falls in line with the White House’s recently announced Housing Supply Action Plan, which will:
- Reward jurisdictions that have reformed zoning and land-use policies with higher scores in certain federal grant processes, for the first time at scale.
- Deploy new financing mechanisms to build and preserve more housing where financing gaps currently exist: manufactured housing (including with chattel loans that the majority of manufactured housing purchasers rely on), accessory dwelling units (ADUs), 2-4 unit properties, and smaller multifamily buildings.
- Expand and improve existing forms of federal financing, including for affordable multifamily development and preservation. This includes making Construction to Permanent loans (where one loan finances the construction but is also a long-term mortgage) more widely available by exploring the feasibility of Fannie Mae purchase of these loans; promoting the use of state, local, and Tribal government COVID-19 recovery funds to expand affordable housing supply; and announcing reforms to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which provides credits to private investors developing affordable rental housing, and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), which provides grants to states and localities that communities use to fund a wide range of housing activities.
- Ensure that more government-owned supply of homes and other housing goes to owners who will live in them – or non-profits who will rehab them – not large institutional investors.
- Work with the private sector to address supply chain challenges and improve building techniques to finish construction in 2022 on the most new homes in any year since 2006.
HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge discussed the necessity of Our Way Home to combat the affordability crisis facing the nation’s housing supply in a press release:
‘Easing the burden of housing costs for families is a top economic priority for this Administration,’ said Secretary Fudge. ‘For too long and in too many communities, housing supply has not kept up with the growing demand. It’s going to take government working at all levels to help close the housing supply gap. I am excited to launch Our Way Home, an initiative that will not only build on the momentum that’s already begun at the federal level, but will also put into focus the unique challenges and successes in communities when it comes to making sure we all find our way home.’
To learn more about Our Way Home, visit hud.gov/ourwayhome.