Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation
National policy encompasses both preserving historic resources and providing affordable housing. The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended, directs the federal government to foster conditions under which modern society and prehistoric and historic resources can exist in productive harmony and "fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations." Similarly, affordable housing legislation like the Cranston-Gonzalez Act of 1990, which aims to "expand the supply of decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing," anticipates historic preservation as a tool for meeting its goals. Actively seeking ways to reconcile historic preservation goals with the special economic and social needs associated with affordable housing is critical in addressing one of the nation's most pressing challenges.
In issuing this policy statement, the ACHP, consistent with Section 202 of the NHPA, offers a flexible approach for affordable housing projects involving historic properties. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their actions on historic properties and afford the ACHP a reasonable opportunity to comment. This policy provides a framework for meeting these requirements for affordable housing.