Americas
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Report Summary:

Amid the dual crises of a nationwide housing shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic, various policymakers and advocates have moved to address housing stability among renters, predominantly through local policies such as rent regulation, tenant protections, and reforms to eviction processes. Government action to address the housing stability of renters was prompted by the pre-pandemic economic precarity of many households and the negative health and financial impacts of COVID-19. Some of these efforts have helped at least temporarily stabilize many households. However, many efforts to address these challenges have been controversial and consequential for property owners, and housing development stakeholders remain concerned about unintended consequences that could make property development and operations more difficult and expensive, with the long-run result being reductions in housing quality and worsened housing shortages. As the United States emerges from the pandemic, it will be critical for federal, state, and local governments to tailor policies to improve both short- and long-term stability for both renters and property owners, while also ensuring the ongoing availability of high-quality rental units, through production, preservation, and stewardship of properties.

In response, the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing conducted an applied policy research project that engages with a wide range of practitioners representing both the tenant and real estate industry perspectives to define a vision for the tenant-landlord relationship in a post-pandemic world. Specifically, the project will evaluate the current challenges and state of practice; identify the core values and objectives that a policy framework should advance; and develop a framework to guide policymaking efforts moving forward.

The ultimate objective of this effort is to improve resident stability, defined for the purposes of this research as: The ability of a renter household, regardless of means, to live in a safe, decent, and attainable home without undue risk of involuntary displacement. This proposition requires the ability of property owners to be able to operate and steward properties in a manner that enables the ongoing safety, quality, and financial viability of those properties.

Report Summary: Amid the dual crises of a nationwide housing shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic, various policymakers and advocates have moved to address housing stability among renters, predominantly through local policies such as rent regulation, tenant protections, and reforms to eviction processes. Government action to address the housing stability of renters was prompted by the pre-pandemic economic precarity of many households and the negative health and financial impacts of COVID-19. Some of these efforts have helped at least temporarily stabilize many households. However, many efforts to address these challenges have been controversial and consequential for property owners, and housing development stakeholders remain concerned about unintended consequences that could make property development and operations more difficult and expensive, with the long-run result being reductions in housing quality and worsened housing shortages. As the United States emerges from the pandemic, it will be critical for federal, state, and local governments to tailor policies to improve both short- and long-term stability for both renters and property owners, while also ensuring the ongoing availability of high-quality rental units, through production, preservation, and stewardship of properties.

In response, the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing conducted an applied policy research project that engages with a wide range of practitioners representing both the tenant and real estate industry perspectives to define a vision for the tenant-landlord relationship in a post-pandemic world. Specifically, the project will evaluate the current challenges and state of practice; identify the core values and objectives that a policy framework should advance; and develop a framework to guide policymaking efforts moving forward.

The ultimate objective of this effort is to improve resident stability, defined for the purposes of this research as: The ability of a renter household, regardless of means, to live in a safe, decent, and attainable home without undue risk of involuntary displacement. This proposition requires the ability of property owners to be able to operate and steward properties in a manner that enables the ongoing safety, quality, and financial viability of those properties.

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Stabilizing Residents and Properties

Amid the dual crises of a nationwide housing shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been movement among policymakers and advocates to address housing stability among renters, predominantly through local policies such as rent regulation, tenant...
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Terwilliger Center for Housing

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