Housing

Ensuring Equity in Affordable Housing Investments in San Joaquin County
Cities and counties throughout California are facing a dire affordable housing crisis. The SanJoaquin Region is no stranger to these housing woes–across the cities and the county, there are not enough homes to meet the current need and not enough funding to build necessary units. Building a broader range of... Read more
Improving Access to Affordable Housing through Equitable City Planning
Many in New Orleans spend 50% of their earnings on housing, exacerbating issues of generational poverty. And following Covid-19 and the disproportionate health and wealth impacts of the pandemic, the city is particularly sensitive to the affordable housing crisis. Given this context, in July 2021, the City of New Orleans... Read more
A Data-driven Approach to Addressing King County’s Housing Crisis
Like other prosperous American counties, greater King County currently finds itself in the position of possessing both enormous amounts of wealth and staggering levels of homelessness. King County has enjoyed robust economic growth over the past decade, with both Amazon and Microsoft establishing headquarters in the region. Despite these economic... Read more
Dismantling Barriers to Homeownership Through Innovative Programs and Policies
For many Americans, the dream of owning a home – often considered the best way to build wealth in this country – is increasingly out of reach and unaffordable. In Kansas City, for many residents, this is the reality. While over 50% of Kansas City residents own their homes, there... Read more
Building the Capacity of Critical Service Providers in Austin’s Homelessness Response System
In the City of Austin, homelessness is a persistent reality that has amounted to a humanitarian challenge. Lack of affordable housing and healthcare, trauma and abuse, and racial inequities are all leading causes of homelessness in Austin. An estimated 9,000 residents in the Austin/Travis County area experience homelessness each year,... Read more
Identifying Innovative Funding Mechanisms to Address Unsheltered Homelessness in Austin
In spring 2021, city leaders facilitated the first Summit to Address Unsheltered Homelessness in Austin – the purpose of the summit was to develop an implementation strategy to effectively and significantly reduce unsheltered homelessness in the city. In the next three years local leaders are determined to rehouse 3000 people... Read more
Developing a Regional Continuum of Care For Those Experiencing Homelessness
Seattle and King County rank in the top three areas in the country in homelessness on a per-capita basis, with more than 22,000 households and nearly 4,500 public school students experiencing homelessness in 2018 alone. And, unfortunately, homelessness has only worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also introduced... Read more
Diversifying Birmingham’s Housing Stock to Accelerate Neighborhood Revitalization
The affordable housing crisis faced by many in America has come to a head with the Covid-19 pandemic. Eviction and foreclosure rates continue to rise as moratoriums expire, and an estimated 30 to 40 million people in the US are at risk of losing their housing in the next several... Read more
Advancing Equity Through Inclusive and Affordable Housing
The growing demand for housing in Washington D.C. has made it difficult for low- and moderate-income households to afford to live in the district. Specifically, more than 70,600 renter households in 2019 were burdened by housing costs, meaning they spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing. To... Read more
Implementing Critical Initiatives to Mitigate Displacement of Atlanta’s Black and Low-Income Communities
Home to more than 6 million people, the Atlanta region is the ninth largest metro region in the nation and it is still rapidly growing. In part because of this unprecedented population boom, Atlanta currently ranks fifth among U.S. cities experiencing gentrification, with more than 46% of its census tracts... Read more
Combating Gentrification Through Innovative and Actionable Redevelopment
Austin has been one of the fastest-growing major metro areas in the country for nearly a decade, with a population closing in on 1 million and expected to double before 2040. Along with this growth, rising real estate prices, property taxes, and general cost of living have driven many longtime... Read more
Preventing Transit Developments from Displacing Residents
Since the late 1990s, Austin has seen a dramatic rise in housing costs, with affluent young professionals moving into central neighborhoods and pushing established residents to the outskirts or out of the city altogether. This displacement is most dramatic in the same neighborhoods where Black and Latinx residents were previously... Read more
Bolstering Homeownership to Build Neighborhood Resilience
Like many U.S. cities, Milwaukee is dealing with an affordable housing crisis, with many residents often spending 50 to 80 percent of their income on rent or mortgage payments and homeownership rates dropping by nearly 14% over the last decade. Black residents in Milwaukee are especially strained, with 40% of... Read more
Ensuring Rent Control to Provide Equitable Housing Opportunities
Washington D.C. is working to increase the availability of affordable housing for its residents, with more than one-third of all households in the district spending more than 30 percent of their income on monthly housing payments and utilities. To help ensure equitable housing options for residents, district officials have prioritized... Read more
Building a Systematic Response to the Public Health Crisis of Homelessness
In Austin, city officials are working to address persistent homelessness, experienced by nearly 7,000 people in the city and Travis County each year. Moreover, Black Austinites are disproportionately experiencing homelessness; while making up 8 percent of the general population, they account for 34 percent of the unhoused population. Prioritizing homelessness,... Read more
Implementing the “Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors” Initiative
Oakland is working to reduce racial disparities and promote economic security and opportunity for residents, especially those living in underserved neighborhoods in East Oakland. After partnering and engaging with communities in East Oakland, city officials created the Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors plan, which was awarded a $28.2 million multi-year Transformative... Read more
Launching a Nonprofit to Build Affordable Housing for Special Populations
Cities and counties throughout the Bay Area face a dire affordable housing crisis. In Alameda County alone, homelessness grew by 40% from 2015 to 2017, with 41% of those experiencing homelessness reporting that a serious mental illness (SMI) impacted their ability to obtain housing. The County has been experiencing a... Read more
Strengthening Affordable Housing Programs for Vulnerable Residents
Stockton, like many cities across the nation, is facing sharply declining levels of affordable housing and a growing number of people experiencing homelessness. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated this crisis. The City is working to alleviate housing insecurity among its residents, including increasing and preserving affordable housing, creating protections for... Read more
Assessing Rent Stabilization to Safeguard Affordable Housing
In a 2017-2018 annual report, only 6 percent of San Jose residents described the availability of affordable housing as “excellent” or “good.” To that end, the San Jose City Council created a Rent Stabilization Program. To ensure the program’s success, Housing Department officials seek to evaluate the program and its... Read more
Building an Information System to Protect Renters from Displacement
Gentrification in Oakland has significantly impacted renters, who comprise 59 percent of households and pay some of the highest rents in the nation. Compounding the issue, a lack of robust data makes it difficult for policymakers to respond to unjust evictions and illegal rent increases. To address this problem, the... Read more
Strengthening Code Enforcement for Safer Housing
Oakland seeks to prioritize housing that is both safe and affordable. Yet the city continues to see a proliferation of living situations that are not compliant with municipal building codes and safety standards. In response, the City has enacted several policies to increase staffing and improve technology for building inspections... Read more
Advancing a Holistic System of Care for the Homeless
San Francisco is piloting an innovative model of healthcare for adults experiencing homelessness. The city and county’s Whole Person Care program assesses patient needs based on a variety of factors that can affect a person’s wellbeing, including housing status, mental health, substance abuse, and involvement with the criminal justice system.... Read more
Monetizing Public Real-Estate Assets
Washington DC has a real-estate portfolio worth more than $11 billion, making it the second largest real-estate owner in the district. The Department of General Services (DGS) oversees the district’s land assets and ensures that publicly owned properties are used for maximum community benefit. To work toward this mission, DGS... Read more
Launching a Housing Finance Agency to Fund Expanded Housing in Los Angeles
To help reduce homelessness and increase affordable housing, the Los Angeles Department of Housing and Community Investment is working to establish a Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to develop its own financial resources. To that end, FUSE Executive Fellow David Spirakis created a business plan and organizational structure for the HFA,... Read more
Developing a Roadmap of Programs to Expand Affordable Housing
Housing affordability has become increasingly urgent across California. According to recent data, nearly half of all homeowners in Long Beach spend more than 30 percent of their total monthly income on rent or mortgage payments. To ease the pressure on residents, Long Beach engaged FUSE executive fellow Rick Ryba to... Read more
San Francisco as the Innovation Capital of the World
FUSE Executive Fellow Rebecca Foster acted as a senior advisor in the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation, focusing on public private partnerships and the intersection of investment and critical social priorities. She explored innovative financing mechanisms including a public-private Housing Accelerator Fund and evaluated pay for success as... Read more
Connecting and Communicating Housing Resources to Those In Need
As one of America’s most expensive places to live, the City and County of San Francisco are committed to maximizing the creation and preservation of affordable housing. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development enlisted FUSE Executive Fellow Kimberly Dubin to help amplify public awareness of the city’s efforts... Read more
Transforming Public Housing to Provide Better Services for Residents
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) is working to improve outcomes for residents in need of housing and social services. To support this effort, the agency recruited FUSE executive fellow Della Williams, who helped the city expand and improve wraparound support to Pittsburghers in need of housing.... Read more
Developing a Training and Recruiting Plan to Help the Homeless
L.A. County voters approved a measure that significantly increased funding for homeless services. To support the expansion of these services, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and the Office of Diversion and Reentry hired FUSE executive fellow Thelá Thatch to develop a plan to recruit, hire, and retain... Read more
Streamlining Housing Development Operations to Support Strategic Business Decisions
In an effort to better manage its assets, the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID), which develops and preserves affordable housing, neighborhood investments, and social services for low- and moderate-income families, created an Asset Management Division. To help the division improve its operations, FUSE Executive Fellow Sean Doss... Read more
Improving Health Through Clean Streets and Food Rescue
Los Angeles offers supportive services to people experiencing homelessness, and at the same time it works to keep public spaces safe and clean. To this end, FUSE executive fellow Ann Zald helped the Bureau of Sanitation and Environment improve its processes for homeless encampment cleanup and waste collection. She also... Read more
Improving Livability in Los Angeles
Mark was tasked with improving operations in Los Angeles to produce more livable, economically viable neighborhoods. During his fellowship, he worked with the Office of the City Administrative Officer to design and advance reforms of the city’s public works departments, business improvement districts program, and quality of life enforcement teams.... Read more
Developing a Coordinated Approach to Homelessness
Los Angeles faces a significant challenge in addressing its homelessness crisis. While multiple city departments and agencies are currently engaged with homeless individuals and families, their approaches are not well coordinated. This causes inconsistency of response, high expenditures, and service redundancy. The City Administrative Officer hired Geoff to work with... Read more
Creating an Integrated Approach to Addressing Homelessness
On any given day, approximately 2,300 people experience homelessness in the City of Long Beach. The City’s Department of Health and Human Services leads the Long Beach Continuum of Care (CoC), which administers housing and support services. FUSE Fellow Sharon Meron worked with the city and the CoC to design... Read more
Reimagining Funding for Affordable Housing
Los Angeles, like many major U.S. cities, is facing a housing affordability crisis. While the city has a severe shortage of affordable housing, prices have grown four times faster than incomes since 2000. FUSE executive fellow Frederick White worked with the Office of the City Administrative Officer and other departments... Read more
Strengthening Code Enforcement for Safer Housing
As rents increase in Oakland, more residents are living in buildings that are noncompliant with municipal codes and safety standards. The city has enacted policies to increase staffing and improve technology for building inspections and code enforcement. The mayor also issued an executive order that calls for working with building... Read more