Strategies

Policies and programs that work

73 Strategies
Clear all

Affordable housing tax increment financing (TIF)

Create designated tax districts that generate revenue to invest in affordable housing initiatives, blight remediation, and economic development efforts
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

Automated speed enforcement cameras

Use devices such as speed cameras, laser devices, radar, etc. to enforce speed limits; devices can be permanent fixtures or be used manually by law enforcement officers
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Community Safety

Bike & pedestrian master plans

Establish a framework to increase walking and biking trails and improve connectivity of non-auto paths and trails in a particular area
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

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

Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs)

Provide funding for local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Community land trusts

Purchase land to lease to low and middle income homeowners and require them to sell the home back to the CLT or to another low income resident at an affordable price.
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Complete Streets & streetscape design initiatives

Enhance streetscapes with greater sidewalk coverage and walkway connectivity, street crossing safety features, traffic calming measures, and other design elements
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

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

E-cigarette regulations

Regulate use of e-cigarettes, especially among youth, via age restrictions, marketing restrictions, expanded smoke-free policies, etc.
Expert Opinion
  • Tobacco Use

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

Healthy home environment assessments

Train volunteers, professionals, or paraprofessionals to help residents assess and remediate environmental home health risks and recommend low cost changes (e.g., improved ventilation, integrated pest management, etc.)
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

HOME Investment Partnership Program

Provide grants to states and localities to fund activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low income households
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

Household lead control education interventions

Inform parents about lead exposure pathways and cleaning and hygiene techniques and undertake minor repairs or specialized cleaning
Evidence of Ineffectiveness
  • Housing and Transit

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Provide eligible low and very low income families with vouchers to help cover the costs of rental housing; also called Section 8
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Housing First

Provide rapid access to permanent housing and support (e.g., crisis intervention, needs assessment, case management), usually for chronically homeless individuals with persistent mental illness or substance abuse issues
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Housing mediation services

Facilitate mediation between tenants and landlords to resolve conflict and prevent eviction
Insufficient Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Housing rehabilitation loan & grant programs

Provide funding, primarily to low or median income families, to repair, improve, or modernize dwellings and remove health or safety hazards
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Housing trust funds

Support funds that help create or maintain low income housing, subsidize rental housing, and assist low income homebuyers and non-profit housing developers
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

Inclusionary zoning & housing policies

Require developers to reserve a proportion of housing units for low income residents via mandatory requirements or incentives such as density bonuses
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

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

Individual incentives for public transportation

Offer incentives such as free or discounted bus, rail, or transit passes, reimbursements, partial payments, or pre-tax payroll deductions to encourage individuals’ use of existing public transit
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Integrated pest management for indoor use

Support a four-tiered approach to indoor pest control that minimizes potential hazards to people, property, and the environment
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Internet-based tobacco cessation interventions

Use websites, computer programs, and other electronic means to provide information, strategies, or behavioral support to tobacco users who want to quit, sometimes with counseling or pharmacotherapy
Scientifically Supported
  • Tobacco Use

Land banking

Acquire, hold, manage, and develop properties such as vacant lots, abandoned buildings, or foreclosures, and transition them to productive uses, often affordable housing developments.
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

Lead paint abatement programs

Eliminate lead-based paint and contaminated dust by removing or encapsulating lead paint, or removing lead painted fixtures and surfaces
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Legal support for tenants in eviction proceedings

Provide legal representation for tenants with low incomes in eviction proceedings or offer limited legal assistance to prepare tenants to represent themselves in court
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Living wage laws

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

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Provide funds to help low income households meet home energy needs, especially households with members who are young or elderly, or have disabilities
Expert Opinion
  • Housing and Transit

Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs)

Provide funding via tax credits at the state and local level to support development and rehabilitation costs of low income rental housing
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Mass media campaigns against tobacco use

Use broad media-based efforts to educate large groups of current and potential tobacco users about the dangers of tobacco use
Scientifically Supported
  • Tobacco Use

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 tobacco age laws

Increase the minimum legal tobacco age to purchase or publicly consume tobacco to 21; also called Tobacco 21
Expert Opinion
  • Tobacco Use

Minimum wage increases

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

Mixed-use development

Support a combination of land uses (e.g., residential, commercial, recreational) in development initiatives, often through zoning regulations or Smart Growth initiatives
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

Multi-component workplace supports for active commuting

Provide physical infrastructure (e.g., bike parking or showers), educational or social support (e.g., walking groups), and financial incentives that support active commuting
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Diet and Exercise

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

Out of town bypasses

Establish roads that avoid built-up areas such as towns, cities, or commercial/business districts
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit
  • Community Safety

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

Public transportation systems

Introduce or expand transportation options that are available to the public and run on a scheduled timetable (e.g., buses, trains, ferries, rapid transit, etc.)
Scientifically Supported
  • Housing and Transit

Radon mitigation programs

Prevent radon from entering occupied buildings and reduce existing indoor air radon levels via soil depressurization, home or room pressurization, heat recovery ventilation, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

Rapid re-housing programs

Transition families and individuals experiencing homelessness into permanent housing quickly, often with supports such as short-term financial assistance, case management, landlord negotiations, etc.
Some Evidence
  • Housing and Transit

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