ForEveryoneHome: Local Solutions for Housing Equity
Grounded Solutions Network's “ForEveryoneHome” initiative is an 18-month technical assistance, peer learning, and community engagement program to help localities chart a path to inclusive housing production and preservation through lasting affordability. The program works with teams of municipal officials and community leaders in select cities where households of color lack equitable access to safe, affordable housing. Selected cities will begin work in Fall 2023.
Local governments recently have faced unprecedented challenges, but none more persistent than our nationwide shortage of affordable housing. America’s housing crisis has hit households of color hardest: The homeownership gap between White and Black Americans has grown in the past decade, in parallel with increasing wealth disparities. The need for safe, stable, and affordable housing is greater than ever, and seemingly further out of reach than ever for Americans of color.
Amid an unstable national housing market, Grounded Solutions Network seeks to partner with three cities in its latest ForEveryoneHome cohort.
ForEveryoneHome is a multi-city initiative, led by Grounded Solutions Network, to design policies that increase the overall number of housing units with lasting affordability. Three participating cities will receive technical assistance valued at $300,000 as part of an 18-month program to develop policies to create stable, affordable housing, particularly for households of color. Selected cities will contribute $150,000 as a participation fee and will have shown a willingness to pursue major policy changes that will preserve and create thousands of homes with lasting affordability
We create three locally defined deliverables for each participating city.
Housing Needs Assessment: A written report for each city that documents the underproduction of housing and the current “state” of lasting affordability. Each report will stratify housing needs across multiple dimensions including income level, product type and tenure. It will also specifically document the impact that the underproduction of housing has on households of color.
Housing Action Plan: A gap analysis that identifies 3-5 different policy interventions that could lead to increased production of housing with lasting affordability. Estimates the number of units that could be produced under each intervention and additional considerations around each one (political will, adverse impacts, etc.).
Policy Agenda: For the 1-2 policies that the local team selects to move forward with, detailed policy analysis about how the intervention should be structured and what the intended—and unintended—consequences might be.
Grounded Solutions Network will conduct site visits with government and community leaders to share and build on local and technical knowledge on key issues.
Participating teams from each city include community partners that are trusted and informed voices on housing issues facing low-income communities of color in their cities. These partners serve as full participants in the initiative, adding their insights, experiences and community priorities to the policy discussions, and amplifying community outreach efforts. We also help participants develop community engagement strategies to ensure broader input into the needs assessment, agenda-setting and policy development phases of the initiative.
Racial Equity Lens
We challenge ourselves and participants to bring a racial equity lens to our work. This means approaching our work with the acknowledgment that housing is not, and never has been, a race-neutral endeavor in the United States.
We ask each city to tell its housing story, focusing in particular on the legacy of individual and institutional racial bias that has shaped who lives where and the people who have benefited and suffered due to past practices. The goal is to elevate an often neglected local history and to recognize its importance in the development of inclusive housing policies aimed at dismantling the legacy of disadvantage this history has yielded. ForEveryoneHome participants from each community work to ensure that this history informs new policies the city will pursue.
Inclusive Growth Tools
Through the initiative, we explore a wide range of housing solutions that can be applied or adapted to achieve inclusive growth with lasting affordability (affordability terms of 30 years or more).
Preservation strategies for subsidized (LIHTC, Section 8, HOME, etc.) and naturally occurring affordable housing;
Non-traditional affordable housing models, including community land trusts, shared-equity home-ownership programs, and shared-appreciation loan programs;
Mandatory or voluntary inclusionary housing policies;
Land banks and public land disposition policies and practices;
Housing trust funds, loan funds, and other financing strategies;
Improving monitoring and stewardship of affordable units.
National affordable housing experts will join forces with a stakeholder team in each city consisting of local policymakers, real estate industry leaders, and community representatives. Team members will be ready to collaborate on major initiatives and capitalize on momentum created by previous legislative and collective action.
ForEveryoneHome unfolds in four phases.
Phase 1: Launch
This phase introduces local teams, determine technical assistance deliverables, conduct e-learning, plan site visits.
Phase 2: Needs Assessment
The goals in this phase are to gather and synthesize prior work, analyze and map available data, conduct site visits, seek community input, draft and revise our needs assessment.
Phase 3: Crafting a Policy Agenda
We collaborate to identify key policy changes or additions responsive to needs assessment, meet with key stakeholders as needed, draft and revise policy agenda.
Phase 4: Moving from Plan to Action
This final phase of the initiative moves from planning to action. Each participating community chooses one to two key policies for rapid implementation. Through policy and data analysis, community engagement efforts and other consulting support, Grounded Solutions Network helps communities develop the policies in detail. At the end of this effort, participating jurisdictions will have implementation-ready policy outlines, ready for translation into ordinance and practice.
Foundation-Funded, With a Community Match
With underwriting from the Melville Foundation, Grounded Solutions Network provides $300,000 worth of support for each locality in the pilot cohort. Each participating community also contributes $150,000 from local sources toward the initiative, demonstrating local commitment to creating inclusive neighborhoods for all.