WASHINGTON - The spring edition of Evidence Matters, HUD's quarterly publication that informs readers on issues related to housing and community development, is available today. This issue focuses on affordable rental housing policy and the role it will play as America debates the priority it places on homeownership.
"As HUD continues to address the foreclosure crisis facing our nation, we must not forget there has been another crisis in communities across the country for much longer - an affordable rental housing crisis," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "The body of work in this edition of Evidence Matters examines proposals from prominent housing experts on ways to address affordable rental housing policy in America."
The lead article, Informing the Next Generation of Rental Housing Policy, focuses on several proposals that came out of the Next Generation Housing Policy Conference held October 2010. The Conference, sponsored by the White House, HUD and the Departments of Treasury and Agriculture, brought together prominent housing experts and practitioners to discuss, among other topics, the role affordable rental housing plays in improving life outcomes, particularly for children, families and the homeless.
Along with the conference summary, this edition of Evidence Matters also focuses on three other policy issues - rental housing market dynamics; the role of bank consortia in financing affordable housing; and the debate over a key piece of housing tax policy. A feature on rental market research sheds light on current rental conditions and challenges prevailing assumptions about the size and scale of the rental stock and the availability of affordable rental homes.
Another feature, Multibank Consortia Sustain Communities by Advancing Affordable Rental Housing, highlights the key role of partnerships among banks in creating and preserving affordable rental homes, often without government subsidy. Lastly, this issue includes the perspectives of three prominent economists, Edward Glaeser, David Crowe, and Todd Sinai, on the mortgage interest deduction.
In an effort to promote a new generation of data-driven and evidence-based policymaking, HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research launched Evidence Matters in February. It is a quarterly publication intended to inform housing and community development advocates, state and local policymakers, Congress and researchers on new approaches to issues related to housing and community development. Evidence Matters is an objective, unbiased publication intended to inform the broad housing and community development field on future policy directions based on research and data - in short, the evidence.