State Preemption of Local Equitable Housing Policies
December 18, 2018
A mapping tool developed by the Local Solutions Support Center brings together research from Grounded Solutions Network, the Partnership for Working Families, the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the Urban Law Center, to document state preemption of inclusive and equitable local housing policies.
As the federal government retreats from its historical commitment to providing housing affordable to low and moderate income families in communities that provide economic opportunity for all, despite a serious and worsening housing crisis, some cities and other local governments are stepping in to fill the void.
Measures to raise revenue for affordable housing or increase tenant protections appeared on the ballot in twenty-four U.S. cities in the November 2018 election. Many of these measures passed as did local efforts to protect vulnerable tenants. But, just as cities are innovating, some states have been passing legislation that takes away — “preempts” — local authority over housing.
The map focuses on four critical areas of policy:
- protections against source-of-income discrimination
- the regulation of short-term rentals
- inclusionary housing programs, and
- rent control.
The rising tide of state preemption detailed in this tool makes it clear that local initiatives and innovation are being blocked when the need for affordable housing and creativity in advancing inclusion is most needed.