Mixed-Income Housing and the HOME Program
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD), prior to World War II, many American cities had neighborhoods with mixed housing types (e.g., single family houses, townhomes, and apartments) that catered to different income classes. Such mixed-income housing had numerous benefits, including improved academic performance of low-income students and the locating of affordable housing near job centers. The suburbanization of America resulted in a lack of economic integration for many parts of the country. In an effort to improve the diversity and stability of American communities, HUD created the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which helps local jurisdictions finance mixed-income housing initiatives. HUD distributes $2 billion in HOME funds to states and local governments per year. The program’s flexibility allows states and local governments to use HOME funds based on their needs and priorities (e.g., for grants, direct loans, or rental assistance).
Sustainability Officers interested in obtaining more information about the HOME Program can refer to HUD’s “Mixed-Income Housing and the HOME Program” publication, which reviews the benefits of mixed-income housing, provides guidance on how participating jurisdictions can facilitate the development of mixed-income housing, and highlights key HOME Program regulatory provisions. Moreover, the document contains useful case studies, best practices, lessons learned, and information regarding funding opportunities for local governments.