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Policy Issues


Policy Issues

See our bold new long-term vision for housing policy in the U.S., An Investment in Opportunity.

See our Policy Priorities

Understand the issues that drive Enterprise policy initiatives.

Affordable Housing

According to the latest American Community Survey, 42 million households (37 percent) pay more than 30 percent of income for housing (moderate burden), while 20.2 million (18 percent) pay more than half (severely burden). Between 2001 and 2010, the number of severely cost-burdened households climbed by 6.4 million. These steep housing costs leave low- and moderate-income families with little money left over for the rest of life’s necessities, such as food, education and health care.

Several financing tools and federal policies have been developed to help low-income households live in decent, affordable housing. However, even with these programs, only one quarter of eligible families receive housing assistance. Therefore, the affordable housing field continues to seek new innovations to help meet the affordable housing needs of the nation.

Community Development & Finance Regulation

Affordable housing and community development activities require capital from both the private and public sectors. Traditional sources of private financing are complemented by mission-driven for-profit and nonprofit organizations, which provide products and programs to support projects that revitalize neighborhoods and provide opportunity for low- and moderate-income households. In addition, governments at all levels have instituted requirements and incentives for financial institutions to invest in their communities.

The federal government is also responsible for regulating the single-family and multifamily mortgage markets (and financial markets in general) to ensure liquidity, maintain stability, mitigate systemic risk and prevent predatory or unethical practices.

Green & Sustainable Housing & Communities

It is an Enterprise strategic priority to deliver health, economic, and environmental benefits to low- and moderate income communities through environmentally sustainable development. Green and sustainable building and community development practices promote the efficient use of resources and lessen the ecological impact of the built environment.

In addition to these environmental impacts, such practices can improve quality of life, particularly for people with low- and moderate incomes. Households living in sustainable neighborhoods and buildings can benefit from utility cost savings, health improvements, more robust transportation options, and better connections to services and economic opportunities.

Tax Incentives

Federal community development and affordable housing tax incentive programs encourage private-sector investment in projects throughout the nation, bringing development capital to the communities that need it the most. Tax incentive programs leverage investment and promote the creation of public-private partnerships as a means of maximizing the impact of federal spending. Incentive programs drive investment to projects that transform communities and directly serve low- and moderate- income workers.