Affordable Housing Advocates

About AHA: Our Principles and Tools

Barriers to Housing:

  • Low wages and lack of employment opportunities (apartments out of reach of low wage workers)
  • Income programs such as DJFS not helpful
  • Lack of awareness, information, marketing about programs, alternative housing types, locations
  • Second chances and assistance for people with housing issues, credit, eviction, conviction record, responsibility problems
  • Economic and market disincentives to affordable housing
  • Capacity of nonprofit agencies and CDCs
  • Local gosvernment barriers (exclusionary zoning, density restrictions, unequal regulator treatment, refusal of subsidized units or vouchers, lack of planning department, lack of authority) Federal government barriers (decreases in funding, priority changes, discontinuation of programs/projects)
  • Discrimination, bigotry, fear
  • Need for meaningful housing plans and strategies through appropriate planning mechanisms
  • Deteriorating or inappropriate housing stock
  • Displacement of tenants by commercial, industrial, highway or other residential projects

Types of Affordable Housing Promotion:

  • Projects (HUD)
  • Vouchers (HUD)
  • Unsubsidized low-rent apartments
  • Homeownership promotion
  • Grants (nonprofit agencies)
  • New construction
  • Repair/Rehabilitation/Mod-rehab
  • Eviction/Homelessness prevention
  • Homeownership retention (home repair/lending issues)
  • Income subsidies
  • Increased wages
  • Supportive services
  • Marketing (goodwill); raising awareness

Types of tools, actions, projects and policies emphasized as desirable to promote housing:

  • Retention ordinance (one to one replacement)
  • Bonuses or requirements for a number of affordable units in each new development
  • Building code enforcement; fair housing enforcement; tenant rights enforcement
  • Conflict resolution (landlord/tenant and fair housing)
  • Regional Planning
  • Affordable housing development
  • Homeownership education and assistance
  • Housing Trust Fund
  • Zoning to promote affordable housing
  • Tax credits; Tax incentives for development, maintenance, retention
  • Reductions in land, construction and development costs

Types of tools, actions, projects, and policies condemned/barred as detrimental:
  • Impaction ordinance
  • Displacement


Definitions:

Good: Clean, safe, decent, in good repair, correct size and number of rooms; with the potential to help people overcome poverty, build stability, and improve their lives; housing that improves neighborhoods, and revitalizes the entire community.

Accessible: Accessible to people with mobility and sensory disabilities; accessible to public transportation; accessible to jobs, schools, stores, social service agencies and recreation opportunities; accessible/available to all races, disabilities, family makeup, gender and sexual orientation; accessible for people with significant barriers/housing problems.

Affordable: Generally costing less than 30% of a household's income, but with attention to meeting individuals at their point of need and to relationship with household budget-- some people cannot pay 30% of income. Very low to moderate income: defined as 50-100% of area median income, adjusted by household size.

Other Considerations:

· Range of types of rental, home ownership, scattered site, project, shared, supportive, cooperative, SRO and other;
· Range of locations for geographic and jurisdictional diversity throughout the region;
· Range of mechanisms from market, non-profit, community development, local and federal government financing;
· Informed choice by individuals and families in housing type and location;
· Encourage racial, ethnic and income diversity, equity and respect;
· Consideration of long term viability and staying power;
· Consideration of planning, preservation of open space and sustainability.

 


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© Affordable Housing Advocates 117 East 12th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202  
Phone: (513) 421-7803 ext. 13 |  staff@affordablehousingcincinnati.org