Housing instability and chronic homelessness are significant contributors to acute and consistent physical and mental health challenges
Housing insecurity has known effects of poor health outcomes. They are often compounded for Black, Latino, and Native American households struggling with greater housing insecurity, higher rates of homelessness, and lack of access to safe, affordable housing. Thus, investing in best practices to develop economical and sustainable housing are key drivers to ensure North Carolinians have access to various options.
The Housing Promising Strategies are best practices designed to preserve existing affordable housing, produce additional housing across the affordability spectrum, build community wealth, and protect households from discrimination, displacement, and disaster. Investments in local, affordable housing systems are a conduit to spur local economic activity and build enduring capacity in community-based organizations, small businesses, and neighborhoods.
Experts in affordable housing and regional stakeholders identified 15 promising strategies for cross-sector investment in North Carolina’s housing system. Learn more about each strategy below.
Click here to view the criteria for the Promising Strategies.
1. Preservation via Acquisition by Mission-Driven Organizations
Create a fund that enables mission-driven (ideally BIPOC-led) organizations, such as non-profits and healthcare systems, to buy properties and keep them affordable via multiple pathways (e.g., social impact capital pool, community land trust, manufactured home park acquisition fund)
2. Rehabilitation & Modification
Maintain and improve the physical condition of low and moderate-cost housing–both rental and individually owned properties–by investing in maintenance and repair services
3. Capital Pool for Affordable Housing Development
Create new or expand existing pools of capital, and make them available on a competitive basis to bridge the funding gap for affordable housing projects
4. Increased Construction Workforce
Develop a skilled, construction labor pipeline (with a living wage requirement) to reduce the construction labor shortage and the time needed to deliver new housing
5. Increased Housing Per Land Unit
Work with local partners to promote housing policies allowing increased housing units per land unit and loosen zoning restrictions to reduce construction costs and increase the construction of new homes
6. Increased Locations of Housing Developments
Develop regional databases of publicly-owned land and a complementary mapping strategy to determine which land parcels would have maximum impact on affordable housing development, particularly for BIPOC communities
Improve access to and use of, tenant-based and project-based rental subsidies; provide additional rental assistance; and support groups advocating for increased federal and state rental subsidy appropriations
8. Permanent Supportive Housing Funding
Establish financial incentives and pools of capital to sustain and expand “permanent supportive housing programs” (PSH) that combine affordable housing with voluntary support services like mental health care and employment assistance
Expand existing home-purchase supports to create wealth via homeownership, particularly in BIPOC communities
Develop new or enhance existing programs which train nonprofits, private landlords, and property managers to integrate supportive housing principles with traditional property management, within local or regional housing systems, and respond to tenant rights and landlord responsibilities. Focus this program on landlords, particularly BIPOC landlords, who already have affordable units
11. Housing Navigation Support
Develop new or support existing, Fair Housing trainings and “Housing 101” programs to help community members overcome housing access barriers
12. Landlord / Property Manager Education & Outreach
Enhance and expand existing eviction prevention and diversion programs and services, such as regional clinics and mitigation funds, to prevent displacement of tenants who are facing eviction.
13. Housing Coordinators / Ecosystem Builders
Adapt existing data platforms (e.g., NCHousingSearch.org) to create a statewide data platform that captures real-time data on all aspects of the local/regional housing market and connects to other state systems; train stakeholders to use the platform
14. State-Level Housing Office
Establish and train a sufficient number of county-level housing coordinators/ecosystem builders to support a coordinated regional approach to managing the full housing spectrum (from homelessness to homeownership) with a focus on populations that experience barriers to housing. At the most fundamental level, having a regional approach will help navigate tenants into suitable housing units
Establish a new state-level housing office or merge state agencies to effectively address housing needs across the state
To fully implement these Housing Promising Strategies, it will require a collaborative financing approach. The Investment Map provides estimates of funding needs from public agencies, corporations, and philanthropic funders to improve food assets in local communities. These five-year funding estimates are separated by region and require community engagement and due diligence prior to carrying out the investment. It is essential strategic funding alignment take place in coordination with community-led, local processes ensuring input from the people and entities that will share in the outcome.
To realize the full potential of investments, the five-year funding estimates by Housing Promising Strategy provides data on sources of funding from public agencies, corporations, and philanthropic funders. The Investment Map provides background and assumptions behind the investment estimate, including source, purpose of capital, stage, vehicle, and frequency. For each Promising Strategy investors can determine if funding needs are recurring, start-up capital, possible vehicle types– grant funding, contract (where an entity pays for services), debt capital (where financiers loan money to a local business or community-based organizations), or the usage of state funding or tax credits.