News & Updates

This page contains the latest content we have posted. If you are looking for a specific resource or reference, check out our Resource Library.  If you are looking for information about our work on a specific topic, you can look on the Our Work page.

Affordable homes through long range planning: Setting the table for success

Local governments play a critical role in setting the table for affordable housing development. This includes helping with site identification and acquisition, providing needed zoning and regulatory flexibility, and contributing to filling financial gaps. This “table setting” happens most effectively when it is part of a deliberate plan to diversify a community’s housing choices. Challenging and ambitious goals cannot be accomplished without a plan.

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Reducing barriers to housing access

In the course of negotiating a settlement with a large property owner HJC was struck with the arbitrariness of the screening criteria being used. As we investigated further the range of screening standards used by many different landlords, several things became clear : as to the standards within those criteria (which criminal violations disqualify, what credit score is sufficient, what income level is adequate, etc) there is no recognized set of best practices, and those standards vary widely among landlords.

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HJC proposals to protect NOAH housing spur action

In 2016 HJC concluded that the threat to the Twin Cities’ supply of unsubsidized affordable rental housing, or NOAH as it is now known, needed greater attention. Although housing policymakers were largely focused on protecting and expanding the supply of subsidized housing, most low-income households still were (and are) relying on the supply of NOAH housing, that is, the older plain vanilla Class C and D apartment buildings. And that supply of NOAH housing was rapidly diminishing

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HJC contributes to Third Circuit Decision Upholding Tenant Protections

Across the country, many privately owned HUD-financed affordable apartment complexes include partial or 100% project-based Section 8 contracts which provide rent subsidies for the lowest income tenants. When those Section 8 contracts come up for renewal, owners have the opportunity to “opt out” or not renew the Section 8 contracts. In order to protect the low-income tenants from the loss of the project based subsidy, HUD will normally provide vouchers as a substitute, known as Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) and Enhanced Vouchers.

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