Holistic Approaches to Housing and Community Development

Housing and redevelopment agencies need additional tools to help families find and remain in housing in the neighborhoods of their choice. Holistic approaches to community development are necessary for these efforts to be successful.

  • Authorize the Use of Voucher Funding for Short-Term Financial Assistance: Allowing voucher Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) funding to be used for short-term financial assistance such as security deposits, application fees, and a risk mitigation fund can help residents successfully secure housing in areas with limited availability and make them more competitive when leasing units.
  • Empower Residents by Increasing Housing Choice and Providing Homeownership Options: The Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership program is an important resource in helping families buy a home and build generational wealth. Providing funding for mobility programs and prohibiting source of income discrimination helps families with housing vouchers compete more effectively in the housing market and access a wider range of housing options.
  • Expand Supportive Services and Mental Health Programs: Increasing funding for supportive services and mental health programs can assist households that face greater challenges in maintaining housing stability. These programs help to ensure that families remain safely housed and that they are provided with the resources and services they need.
  • Improve Educational Outcomes and Data Sharing: Enhancing educational outcomes for families by improving internet and digital access, expanding programs like the Book Rich Environments Program, and facilitating federal cooperation and data sharing between housing agencies and schools can contribute to the overall well-being and success of families.
  • Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as Central to Healthy Communities: Healthy communities must address housing, homeownership, criminal justice, self-sufficiency, social determinants of health, and access to resources through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Programs and policies should respect race, religion, skin color, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical abilities, age, work, and behavioral styles as well as the perspectives of how individuals are shaped by their environment and experiences.

Addressing barriers to housing access and stability while also investing in supportive services and educational opportunities will improve the lives of low- and middle-income families and strengthen communities. Holistic approaches that ensure all Americans can make the best housing, health, and educational decisions will increase equity.