Affordable Housing and Growth Management

What You'll Learn

  • How to define the different types of affordable housing (rental and owner) and the differences between low-income and moderate-income housing.
  • Demonstrate how local governments can provide flexibility in growth management regulations to accommodate affordable housing.
  • Describe how the nonprofit sector is creating and maintaining affordable housing options.

More Course Details

Providing affordable housing has largely been left to the private sector, which has little incentive to build affordable housing. The nonprofit sector is working to fill the gap, especially in California where the state canceled local redevelopment authorities. Cities and counties in the San Francisco Bay Area are trying to manage growth as the population is expected to grow from 7.2 million today to 9.3 million in 2040.

One case study examines the rehabbing of affordable housing by a nonprofit in Napa County, the nation's premier wine region, which has strong rural zoning to discourage development. A second case study discusses how the City of Novato in Marin County reauthorized an urban growth boundary for 25 years with the proviso that the city council can expand the boundary primarily for housing for low-income households. Marin also has strong rural zoning.

For comparison, examine case studies of affordable housing efforts by government and nonprofits in greater Seattle. Seattle has one of the most restrictive urban growth boundaries in the nation. Between 2000 and 2010, the population in King County outside the growth boundary actually decreased. Meanwhile, more than half of Seattle's households are renters.