3 Free Preservation Resources Housing Agencies Need to Know About

As the U.S. is facing a shortage of over seven million affordable rental homes for extremely low-income renters, and more than 320,000 homes have affordability restrictions expiring in the next five years, advocating for the need for affordable housing has never been greater. Today, housing agencies are exploring various preservation options, from purchasing Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) properties to accepting donated buildings, engaging in green construction, or participating in the latest tax credit programs.

No matter what route your agency may go down to acquire and rehab existing affordable housing, we’ve rounded up three preservation resources that you should add to your toolbox. The best part is they’re available to agencies at no cost!

1. National Housing Preservation Database (NHPD)
The NHPD was developed over a decade ago by the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. It is known most notably for being the only comprehensive list of nearly 80,000 federally supported housing properties across the U.S., allowing users to customize their search by geographic, funding, or property characteristics. Nonprofits,         government agencies, and universities can access the database at no cost.

Beyond the database, you’ll find other complimentary resources like the Affordable Housing Preservation Toolkit, which delivers aggregated data and guidance to help you create local housing preservation plans, ranging from the county or city level or all the way down to a       neighborhood level. 

Or, download the state-level preservation profiles, highlighting facts about the cost burden, housing shortage, and the number of units at risk of loss in the next five years.NHPD Preservation Profile CT

Source: https://preservationdatabase.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/PD-Profile_2022_CT.pdf 


Watch this demonstration below to learn more about using the NHPD’s resources.


2. Neighborhood Opportunity Search Tool
The Neighborhood Opportunity Search Tool is another resource developed by PAHRC, which allows community leaders to explore investment pathways to help residents of affordable homes achieve economic mobility. The tool can be used to:

  • Help voucher holders locate neighborhoods with quality schools, transit, and job access
  • Identify amenity-rich areas to build and preserve affordable housing
  • Locate properties in your portfolio where additional services or partnerships may be needed to help expand education, transit, health, and employment opportunities for your residents.
Using the tool is simple. Select a map based on the measure you’re searching for, whether it be job access, transit access, healthcare access, educational opportunities, or overall opportunity capital. You can also select a map that presents possible investment pathways your organization can pursue for your portfolio based on the opportunity capital, desirability, and trajectory of the neighborhood each property is located in. Then, apply applicable filters, and as you zoom in, the map displays index scores of each census track relative to the region you’re viewing, drilling down to the neighborhood level. As you zoom in, locations of federally assisted rental properties will appear.
PAHRC GIF Video_1-1
 3. Local Housing Solutions

The NYU Furman Center and Abt Associations collaborated to form Local Housing Solutions, which is a one-stop resource to help stakeholders develop and implement local housing strategies. To do this, the platform created a housing policy framework that organizes policies into four main categories and lists the main policies under each category with extensive information.

In addition to this tool, Local Housing Solutions offers resources to teach the basics of housing policy, planning briefs to assist in designing/implementing local housing strategy, an interactive Housing Needs Assessment to aggregate federal Census data into a comprehensive report for areas of interest, and even case studies showing policy strategies in action.


Includes copyrighted material from a company under the HAI Group family, with its permission. This post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice, and shall not be relied on as such. We strongly recommend consulting with legal counsel or an appropriate subject matter expert.

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