A framework for converting housing underproduction into housing opportunity.
Developed using a racial equity lens, A Better Foundation is a policy framework that is applied using local context to create more homes in areas with high economic mobility, access to jobs, and existing infrastructure. It prioritizes housing that can be built and distributed in ways that elevate housing choice and affordability.
By increasing the availability of the right type and amount of housing without expanding geographically, cities and states can reduce traffic congestion, increase affordability, and optimize the fiscal and economic benefits of more housing.
Locations selected for A Better Foundation must meet one or more of the following conditions:
Tracts labeled Tier 1 have sufficient infrastructure, access to jobs, and economic mobility; to maximize those conditions, they receive the largest increase in units. We increase density beginning with the lowest density first and then move in ascending order. For example, if we increase Tier 1 census tracts by 40% and the region still has a deficit of homes, we allocate housing to Tier 2, then Tier 3, beginning with the lowest density places.
A Better Foundation makes recommendations on the type of new homes best suited to a given area based, in part, on the character of the existing community. For example, we know that building a high-rise in an area with primarily single-detached homes is impractical and infeasible. Instead, we aim to feather-in density gradually based on the existing infrastructure and the character of the neighborhood.
Historical policies, practices, and patterns, including discriminatory grant programs, exclusionary zoning, racially restrictive covenants, redlining, and displacement through ‘urban renewal’ projects, continue to harm communities of color.
For this reason, we always apply a racial equity lens to prioritize policies and solutions that redress harm, promote equitable outcomes, and shrink the wealth and opportunity gap between white and nonwhite Americans.
Connect with our team to learn more.