Saturday, January 14, 2006

Iglesias and Lento on Affordable Housing

Tim Iglesias (University of San Francisco School of Law) and Rochelle E. Lento (Dykema Gossett, PLLC) have a new book out titled The Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development.  Here's the description:

Since at least the 1970s, the U.S. has suffered from a chronic shortage of affordable housing. Despite fluctuations in the economy, there has never been sufficient affordable housing to meet the needs, and the most vulnerable persons in our communities are victims of this shortage. While federal affordable housing development programs have been severely cut in the past several decades, state and local governments have become more deeply engaged in the problem.

Producing and maintaining quality affordable housing is not an intractable social problem but, rather, is one that requires putting together the essential pieces of the puzzle – a development concept responsive to community needs, suitable land, permissive land use regulations, adequate government funding programs, and creative public-private partnerships.

The Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development covers the most important areas of law applicable to affordable housing development and provides a comprehensive overview of affordable housing laws. Part I covers the regulatory framework of developing affordable housing. It includes chapters on planning requirements and zoning issues, a wide variety of constitutional and statutory provisions promoting affordable housing, and building and housing codes affecting affordable housing.

Part II addresses the provision of affordable housing finance, including local, state, and federal regulation of private, local, state, and federal sources of finance; local government powers; and mixed-finance housing development. Part III surveys critical legal obligations that affect affordable housing after it has been built, including regulatory compliance and enforcement at the state and federal level as well as preservation of subsidized housing issues. It also includes a chapter on federal relocation and replacement law that concerns housing acquired for the purpose of making it affordable.

The book concludes with a valuable appendix, the Affordable Housing Law Resource List, which offers a list of web sites and other citations to (a) general reference works and technical materials regarding affordable housing development and (b) compilations and evaluations of affordable housing strategies.

The Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development is a practical resource for attorneys representing local governments (municipalities, counties, housing authorities, and redevelopment agencies), housing developers (both for-profit and nonprofit), investors, financial institutions, and populations eligible for housing.

Ben Barros

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