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PD&R Edge, an online magazine, provides you with a snapshot view of our newly released research, periodicals, publications, news, and commentaries on housing and urban development issues. Stay informed on current topics and check back frequently, as our content is routinely updated.
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Feature: Affordable Rental Trends and Strategies

In September 2023, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors hosted two panels to discuss rental affordability as part of its ongoing “Keys to Opportunity in the Housing Market” seminar series. The panelists addressed rental housing dynamics, including eviction trends, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and approaches to expanding the supply of affordable rental housing. Panelists discussed pandemic-era programs such as eviction moratoria and rental assistance as being successful in keeping people stably housed, while also emphasizing the importance of solutions aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing specifically and new housing generally. These tools can include regulatory reforms, inclusionary zoning programs, and community land trusts.

New on PD&R Edge

PD&R Leadership:
Expanding Small Area Fair Market Rents to Increase Housing Opportunities
In the Leadership Message, Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development & Research and Brian J. McCabe, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development, discuss HUD’s recent policy action to increase the number of metropolitan areas covered by the 2016 Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) Final Rule. SAFMRs allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to set payment standards at the ZIP Code level rather than at the metropolitan level, generating voucher payments that more accurately reflect the local rental market and allowing voucher holders to access a wider range of neighborhoods that meet their and their family’s needs. HUD will now require PHAs in an additional 41 metropolitan areas to adopt SAFMRs; this change means that PHAs using SAFMRs will administer 45 percent of all vouchers in the Housing Choice Voucher program.

In Practice:
Renovated Cedar Street Apartments Provide Affordable Housing in Washington, D.C.
Located in the historic Takoma neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Cedar Street Apartments faced extensive damage from a microburst storm in 2016. A year later, tenants formed the Cedar Street Tenants Association (CSTA) after the prior landlord listed the property for sale. Under the district’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, CSTA transferred its rights to purchase to Joseph Development Inc., which fully renovated the property and collaborated with tenants to maintain affordability. With several neighborhood amenities nearby, the building includes a total of 30 units, the bulk of which are affordable to tenants earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

PD&R at 50:
The History of Housing Insecurity Research at PD&R
Housing insecurity is defined as a significant lapse of one or more elements of secure housing, including affordability, stable occupancy, and safety and decency. However, because of this multidimensionality, housing insecurity has proven a difficult concept to rigorously define and measure. Over the past 50 years, research at PD&R into worst case housing needs, housing adequacy, overcrowding, and homelessness has helped advance researchers’ and policymakers’ understanding of housing insecurity. This work has laid a foundation for the current efforts to develop and refine a housing insecurity index, an important tool for future efforts to understand, predict, and prevent experiences of housing insecurity.

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