Strategies

Policies and programs that work

35 Strategies
Clear all

Alternative fuels initiatives

Support alternative fuel and vehicle use via financial incentives (e.g., tax benefits, rebates, etc.), mandates (e.g., consumption targets or renewable fuel standards), research and development investments, etc.
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality

CAFO regulations

Establish local regulations for confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that address location, size, facility management, and pollution contributions to complement US EPA regulations
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality

Carpool & rideshare programs

Help commuters share transportation through informal arrangements between individuals, formally arranged dynamic ridesharing programs, or other ride-matching services
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality
  • Housing and Transit

Child care subsidies

Provide financial assistance to working parents, or parents attending school, to pay for center-based or certified in-home child care
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Child development accounts

Establish dedicated child development accounts (CDAs) to build assets over time with contributions from family, friends, and sometimes, supporting organizations; also called children’s savings accounts (CSAs)
Expert Opinion
  • Income
  • Education

Child tax credit expansion

Expand federal or state child tax credits by increasing credit amounts, making credits refundable, decreasing or eliminating the earnings threshold, or creating a fully refundable supplement
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Support the federal-state partnership that pays participating land owners an annual rental rate for removing environmentally sensitive land from production and introducing conservation practices on the land
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

Conservation tillage practices

Encourage methods of soil cultivation that keep at least one-third of cultivated soil covered with the previous year’s crop residue (e.g., mulch till, ridge till, strip till, or no-till)
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Debt advice for tenants with unpaid rent

Offer debt advice from trained providers to tenants with unpaid, overdue rent to help repay debt and increase financial literacy
Some Evidence
  • Income
  • Housing and Transit

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Expand refundable earned income tax credits for low to moderate income working individuals and families
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Financial education for adults

Provide one-on-one or group adult education programs that cover topics such as basic budgeting, bank use, credit management, bankruptcy, credit building and counseling, homeownership, retirement, divorce, etc.
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Full child support pass-through and disregard

Adopt policies that allow custodial parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to collect all child support paid by the non-custodial parent; no portion is retained by the state
Scientifically Supported
  • Income

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Support subsidized asset accumulation programs in which deposits by low and moderate income participants are matched by program sponsors; withdrawals must be used for qualified expenses to retain matching funds
Some Evidence
  • Income

Lead contaminated soil abatement

Clean, remove, replace, or cover lead contaminated soil with non-contaminated soil, mulch, sod, grass, or concrete
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality

Lead pipe & plumbing material replacement

Replace lead plumbing material such as pipes, service lines, fittings, solder, flux, and fixtures with non-lead plumbing material
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality

Living wage laws

Establish locally mandated wages that are higher than state or federal minimum wage levels
Some Evidence
  • Income

Matched dollar incentives for saving tax refunds

Support programs that provide matched dollar incentives for low or moderate income individuals to place some or all of their tax refund in a savings account
Some Evidence
  • Income

Microfinance & microenterprise

Support programs that provide small loans, usually to disadvantaged individuals, to start or expand a small business, often with business training and other assistance
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Minimum wage increases

Increase the lowest hourly, daily, or monthly compensation that employers may legally pay to workers
Mixed Evidence
  • Income

Multi-component groundwater management programs

Address soil and water quality concerns via regular groundwater monitoring, education about risks to groundwater, water quotas and taxes, and other efforts
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

New Hope Project

Provided work supports for low income individuals and families (e.g., job search assistance, transitional jobs, subsidized child care, health insurance, etc.); participants worked at least 30 hours/week
Some Evidence
  • Income

Nutrient management plans

Support site-specific plans for crop production that match nutrient applications to crop needs, typically with agricultural best management practices
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Payday loan regulations

Regulate small, short-term loans that must be repaid by a borrower’s next pay day via bans, caps on maximum interest rates and loan amounts, minimum loan terms, truth in lending statements, etc.
Insufficient Evidence
  • Income

Permeable pavement projects

Use pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable interlocking pavers, open-jointed blocks or cells, or other permeable pavement in individual or commercial development efforts; also called porous or pervious pavement
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Proper drug disposal programs

Establish programs that accept expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from designated users and dispose of them responsibly
Expert Opinion
  • Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Air and Water Quality

Rain barrels

Use ready-made or home constructed barrel systems to collect and store rainwater from rooftops that would otherwise flow to storm drains and streams
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

Rain gardens & other bioretention systems

Establish bioretention systems (e.g., rain gardens, bioretention cells, green roofs, planter boxes, bioswales, etc.) to make city landscapes more permeable
Scientifically Supported
  • Air and Water Quality

Refundable child and dependent care tax credit

Offer a refundable tax credit to working families with qualifying children or other dependents that receive care outside the home (e.g., a spouse with disabilities)
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Scrap programs for old vehicles

Provide incentives to trade in old cars or light duty trucks with low fuel efficiency and high emissions and buy new vehicles with higher efficiency and lower emissions; also called scrappage or vehicle early retirement programs
Expert Opinion
  • Air and Water Quality

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

Explore ways to increase Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program benefit amounts for aged, blind, or disabled individuals, including children, with little or no income
Expert Opinion
  • Income

Unemployment insurance (UI)

Extend or raise the compensation provided to eligible, unemployed workers looking for jobs
Some Evidence
  • Income

Vehicle anti-idling initiatives

Implement anti-idling policies and awareness campaigns to reduce engine idling for passenger vehicles, school buses, and/or equipment and truck fleets
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality

Vehicle inspection & maintenance (I/M) programs

Require scheduled testing of vehicles’ tailpipe and evaporative emissions; federally mandated in areas with particularly poor air quality
Some Evidence
  • Air and Water Quality