Reports & Toolkits

Housing Solutions Matchmaker Tool

  • Document

    Housing Solutions Matchmaker Tool

    County Matchmaker Overview

    Living and working in the communities they serve, county leaders across the country understand the local housing conditions and challenges faced within the community. As these challenges appear on the doorstep of county officials, local governments often face complex decisions to effect substantive change.

    The housing policy matchmaker aspires to be a resource for local officials, providing information that assists in understanding the elements of local housing markets, identifying key challenges and providing resources on policies that might help enhance the local housing landscape.

    Recognizing that local governments vary in their available resources, as well as legal powers,there is no single comprehensive strategy that works for all places. Rather, the tool provides a data-informed assessment, referring local officials to resources that support county leaders’ continued actions to improve the affordability, quality and supply of local housing stock.

    Intended Uses and Scope

    The Housing Policy Matchmaker provides local governments with a concise, accessible snapshot of housing conditions, focusing on a handful of key metrics, and places the locality in context relative to neighboring communities.

    The matchmaker does not provide a detailed implementation plan, narrowly customized to each locality. Rather, it serves as a triage assessment that points policymakers in the right general direction and provides links to other resources that offer detailed information on different policy tools.

    In addition, the tool focuses specifically on housing affordability and supply and is not intended to provide resources on all types of housing challenges, such as homelessness or mixed-use residential and commercial development. Some additional resources on those topics can be found in the “Resources on Other Housing Topics” tab on this page.

    A Regional Approach to Solutions

    Housing supply and affordability challenges are not the sole responsibility of counties; they are regional problems requiring a regional approach to solutions. For long term success, officials in counties, cities, towns and other local jurisdictions should coordinate with neighboring communities to develop and implement effective changes.

    Counties can play a key role in organizing and coordinating a regional approach to affordable and sustainable housing. For example, Waukesha County partnered with three neighboring counties and nearly every municipality within their jurisdictions to establish the HOME Consortium, which received federal funding to fund and coordinate programs to improve home ownership, home quality, and build affordable housing.

    In addition, many counties already work together within metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), such as the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council. However, MPOs have few financial resources tied to housing and do not have binding legal authority over member jurisdictions, making coordination and leadership by local officials to prioritize housing supply and affordability essential.

    Resources on Other Housing Topics

    Homelessness

    In counties across America, homelessness is a crisis confronting local government. While counties are on the front lines of tackling the driving factors and downstream impacts of homelessness, our state, federal and non-governmental partners play an essential role in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to address this crisis

    Learn More

    • Addressing Local Challenges in Housing the Most Vulnerable

      Testimony on the extent of challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness and potential solutions for policymakers.

    • Communities Can Better Prevent Homelessness through Housing- and Justice-System Partnerships

      Guidance on how coalitions with community institutions and housing advocates can help create equitable and impactful solutions using a housing-first approach.

    • The County Role in Ending Homelessness and Improving Public Health

      A report containing crisis, transitional, and long-term housing solutions that counties have used to address homelessness, along with details on how specific counties have implemented them.

    • Deploy Housing First Systemwide

      Information and tools from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness on how communities can take a housing-first approach to homelessness.

    • National Alliance to End Homelessness

      Collection of articles, toolkits, and news on relevant policies on various ways to combat homelessness. This selection includes “Strategies to Secure and Expand Funds for Rapid Re-Housing,” “Rapid Re-Housing Toolkit,” “The SYSTEM Series,” and “Engaging Philanthropy in Ending Homelessness.”

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

    Constituents in communities nationwide are calling on county elected officials to reduce the burdens of housing costs that force residents to relocate to more affordable neighborhoods. Although housing affordability is a shared priority across the country, available options to promote affordability vary widely between counties due to differences in jurisdiction and authority under state constitutions and statutes.

    Learn More

    • Affordable Housing Toolkit

      Toolkit detailing the role of counties in addressing the affordable housing crisis through partnerships, funding, zoning strategies, and federal resources. The toolkit also includes an appendix that goes into greater detail on housing affordability metrics.

    • Building Homes: County Funding for Affordable Housing

      A detailed report on the role of counties addressing funding solutions for affordable housing, featuring three case studies on innovative solutions.

    • Housing Connections: Building Affordability Through Community Engagement

      A report on the importance of effective community engagement practices in addressing housing strategies, featuring how three counties engaged their own communities and providing further resources on community engagement.

    • Housing Security Solutions Framework

      Series of proposed solutions and solutions frameworks with sections tailored to specific kinds of stakeholders, programs, and communities. These sections include strategies for indigenous, immigrant, and rural communities.

    • Partnership Takes On Affordable Housing

      Example of an inter-jurisdictional partnership in Colorado focused on affordable housing.

    WORKFORCE HOUSING 

    Across the country, the lack of affordable housing is severely impacting homeowners and renters, including county employees who live and work in the communities they serve. Affordable housing programs for employees reduce barriers to success at work and increase employee retention.

    Learn More

    • Access to Housing: Supporting County Workers Through Affordable Homes

      Strategies for how countries can reduce housing cost burdens for their own employees to better recruit and retain their employee base, featuring three case studies of county solutions.

    • Building for Success: How Counties Can Leverage Federal Funds for Workforce Housing

      Webinar on strategies from county leaders and research organizations to use and invest federal funding to best address the shortage of workforce housing.

    • Workforce Housing and Middle-Income Housing Subsidies

      A primer that provides information on the rationale for giving subsidies to middle-income families, past policies for “workforce” housing, and the implications of middle-income policies.

    PLANNING AND ZONING 

    Counties are uniquely positioned to respond to affordable housing challenges because of the role many play in planning and zoning. Most county governments have some planning, zoning, land use and permitting authority; with this authority, county leaders can create a regulatory framework that incentivizes developers to build affordable units without requiring additional funding from the county.

    Learn More

    • Planning Ahead County Planning, Land Use and Zoning Strategies for Affordable Housing

      A detailed report on the role of counties addressing land use and zoning strategies to increase affordable housing, featuring four case studies on innovative solutions.

    • Mixed Use Development

      Guidance on policies to encourage walkable mixed-use development along with housing affordability.

    Coordinating Regional Housing Policy

    Housing supply and affordability challenges are not the sole responsibility of counties; they are regional problems requiring a regional approach to solutions. For long-term success, officials in counties, cities, towns and other local jurisdictions should coordinate with neighboring communities to develop and implement effective changes.

    Learn More

    • Promoting Interagency Collaboration in the Development of a Local Housing Strategy

      Guidance on how counties can promote interagency involvement in the planning and implementation of a local housing strategy.

    • Engaging the Community in the Development of a Local Housing Strategy

      Information on the importance of community engagement in planning housing strategies, followed by steps and examples for involving community members.

    Intergovernmental Resources

    Counties vary in available resources, staff capacity and legal powers to address local housing challenges. As local front-line officials, county leaders must coordinate with state, federal and other local entities to effect substantive change.

    Learn More

    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Resources on Homelessness

      Gives a range of recommendations for research centers and grant programs for policymakers to address homelessness, including federal funding for ending youth homelessness, disaster preparation for homeless individuals, and COVID-19 resources.

    • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Resources on Homelessness

      Gives a range of resources and funding options for counties and states trying to decrease homelessness. These resources include information on the Housing First Approach, increasing equity, and navigating Continuum of Care funding.

    Housing cost and population growth archetype

    View Tool

    Open tool in fullscreen

    Acknowledgments

    The archetype model and policy solutions for the Housing Solutions Matchmaker Tool were developed by Jenny Schuetz, Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro, and Tim Shaw, Associate Director of Policy at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (FSP). Housing Solutions County Profiles were developed by Ricardo Aguilar, Associate Director of Data Analytics, and Kevin Shrawder, Associate Economist, at the National Association of Counties (NACo).

    The developers would like to thank the county officials and staff from NACo and the Community Advisors from the Aspen FSP, who provided thoughtful feedback and contributions to this resource. The developers also express their appreciation to the NACo Digital Communications Team for the landing page design and implementation.

    See Here for additional background and information on the Housing Policy Matchmaker from the Brookings Institute.

    The housing policy matchmaker aspires to be a resource for local officials, providing information that assists in understanding the elements of local housing markets, identifying key challenges and providing resources on policies that might help enhance the local housing landscape.
    2022-07-11
    Reports & Toolkits
    2022-07-27
County Matchmaker Overview

Living and working in the communities they serve, county leaders across the country understand the local housing conditions and challenges faced within the community. As these challenges appear on the doorstep of county officials, local governments often face complex decisions to effect substantive change.

The housing policy matchmaker aspires to be a resource for local officials, providing information that assists in understanding the elements of local housing markets, identifying key challenges and providing resources on policies that might help enhance the local housing landscape.

Recognizing that local governments vary in their available resources, as well as legal powers,there is no single comprehensive strategy that works for all places. Rather, the tool provides a data-informed assessment, referring local officials to resources that support county leaders’ continued actions to improve the affordability, quality and supply of local housing stock.

Intended Uses and Scope

The Housing Policy Matchmaker provides local governments with a concise, accessible snapshot of housing conditions, focusing on a handful of key metrics, and places the locality in context relative to neighboring communities.

The matchmaker does not provide a detailed implementation plan, narrowly customized to each locality. Rather, it serves as a triage assessment that points policymakers in the right general direction and provides links to other resources that offer detailed information on different policy tools.

In addition, the tool focuses specifically on housing affordability and supply and is not intended to provide resources on all types of housing challenges, such as homelessness or mixed-use residential and commercial development. Some additional resources on those topics can be found in the “Resources on Other Housing Topics” tab on this page.

A Regional Approach to Solutions

Housing supply and affordability challenges are not the sole responsibility of counties; they are regional problems requiring a regional approach to solutions. For long term success, officials in counties, cities, towns and other local jurisdictions should coordinate with neighboring communities to develop and implement effective changes.

Counties can play a key role in organizing and coordinating a regional approach to affordable and sustainable housing. For example, Waukesha County partnered with three neighboring counties and nearly every municipality within their jurisdictions to establish the HOME Consortium, which received federal funding to fund and coordinate programs to improve home ownership, home quality, and build affordable housing.

In addition, many counties already work together within metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), such as the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council. However, MPOs have few financial resources tied to housing and do not have binding legal authority over member jurisdictions, making coordination and leadership by local officials to prioritize housing supply and affordability essential.

Resources on Other Housing Topics

Homelessness

In counties across America, homelessness is a crisis confronting local government. While counties are on the front lines of tackling the driving factors and downstream impacts of homelessness, our state, federal and non-governmental partners play an essential role in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to address this crisis

Learn More

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

Constituents in communities nationwide are calling on county elected officials to reduce the burdens of housing costs that force residents to relocate to more affordable neighborhoods. Although housing affordability is a shared priority across the country, available options to promote affordability vary widely between counties due to differences in jurisdiction and authority under state constitutions and statutes.

Learn More

  • Affordable Housing Toolkit

    Toolkit detailing the role of counties in addressing the affordable housing crisis through partnerships, funding, zoning strategies, and federal resources. The toolkit also includes an appendix that goes into greater detail on housing affordability metrics.

  • Building Homes: County Funding for Affordable Housing

    A detailed report on the role of counties addressing funding solutions for affordable housing, featuring three case studies on innovative solutions.

  • Housing Connections: Building Affordability Through Community Engagement

    A report on the importance of effective community engagement practices in addressing housing strategies, featuring how three counties engaged their own communities and providing further resources on community engagement.

  • Housing Security Solutions Framework

    Series of proposed solutions and solutions frameworks with sections tailored to specific kinds of stakeholders, programs, and communities. These sections include strategies for indigenous, immigrant, and rural communities.

  • Partnership Takes On Affordable Housing

    Example of an inter-jurisdictional partnership in Colorado focused on affordable housing.

WORKFORCE HOUSING 

Across the country, the lack of affordable housing is severely impacting homeowners and renters, including county employees who live and work in the communities they serve. Affordable housing programs for employees reduce barriers to success at work and increase employee retention.

Learn More

PLANNING AND ZONING 

Counties are uniquely positioned to respond to affordable housing challenges because of the role many play in planning and zoning. Most county governments have some planning, zoning, land use and permitting authority; with this authority, county leaders can create a regulatory framework that incentivizes developers to build affordable units without requiring additional funding from the county.

Learn More

Coordinating Regional Housing Policy

Housing supply and affordability challenges are not the sole responsibility of counties; they are regional problems requiring a regional approach to solutions. For long-term success, officials in counties, cities, towns and other local jurisdictions should coordinate with neighboring communities to develop and implement effective changes.

Learn More

Intergovernmental Resources

Counties vary in available resources, staff capacity and legal powers to address local housing challenges. As local front-line officials, county leaders must coordinate with state, federal and other local entities to effect substantive change.

Learn More

Housing cost and population growth archetype

View Tool

Open tool in fullscreen

Acknowledgments

The archetype model and policy solutions for the Housing Solutions Matchmaker Tool were developed by Jenny Schuetz, Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro, and Tim Shaw, Associate Director of Policy at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (FSP). Housing Solutions County Profiles were developed by Ricardo Aguilar, Associate Director of Data Analytics, and Kevin Shrawder, Associate Economist, at the National Association of Counties (NACo).

The developers would like to thank the county officials and staff from NACo and the Community Advisors from the Aspen FSP, who provided thoughtful feedback and contributions to this resource. The developers also express their appreciation to the NACo Digital Communications Team for the landing page design and implementation.

See Here for additional background and information on the Housing Policy Matchmaker from the Brookings Institute.

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    Economic Mobility Leadership Network

    The Economic Mobility Leadership Network (EMLN) is a NACo cohort of county leaders that facilitates and incubates county-specific discussion and problem-solving on issues of economic mobility and helps county leaders identify and assess their current barriers to mobility and share scalable and transferable programs across the country.
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    <p>Economic mobility refers to changes in an individual&rsquo;s economic status over a lifetime and across generations&mdash;usually measured in income.

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    Community, Economic & Workforce Development Steering Committee

    Responsible for all matters pertaining to housing, community and economic development, public works, and workforce development including the creation of affordable housing and housing options for different populations, residential, commercial, and industrial development, and building and housing codes. Policy Platform & Resolutions 2022-2023 2022 NACo Legislative Priorities
    page

    <p>Responsible for all matters pertaining to housing, community and economic development, public works, and workforce development including the creation of affordable housing and housing options for different populations, residential,

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