tal to the receiving communities (Galster, Tatian, and Smith 1999). Therefore, building local partner- ships between advocates for affordable housing and smart growth, and working together to overcome fears and prejudices about subsidized housing, can help expand affordable housing options and combat sprawl.
In addition to mixed income strategies, some affordable housing developers are explicitly focusing on tools and incentives for incorporating principles of energy efficiency, conservation, and environmental sustainability into new projects. Enterprise Commu- nity Partners has led an effort to establish criteria for “green” affordable housing and has created a program of grants and low-interest loans to help offset the additional development costs associated with meeting these criteria.31
Many people who are unfamiliar with federal hous- ing programs find their complexity, high cost, and uneven performance daunting, and they may conclude that little can be done to address the limitations of existing programs, improve outcomes for households already served, or expand housing help to a larger share of needy families. We hope this primer helps clarify the policy landscape and highlights opportu- nities for constructive engagement. Such engagement can occur at many different scales: targeting sup- plemental services and opportunities to residents of particular subsidized projects; helping voucher re- cipients make the best possible choices about where to relocate; expanding the stock of affordable hous- ing options in opportunity-rich or revitalizing neigh- borhoods; promoting regionwide strategies for smart, sustainable, and affordable growth; and perhaps even reinventing the federal role in meeting the nation’s low-income housing needs.