Family Finances

Launching the Housing Policy Matchmaker: A Diagnostic Tool for Local Officials

September 19, 2022  • Tim Shaw & Haley Kennedy

As communities across the United States experience the effects of an increasing housing affordability crisis, local officials are often called upon to find a solution to a complex challenge. Each locality faces unique housing market conditions and each local government has different resources to address its community’s concerns. 

In light of these challenges, the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program and experts from the Brookings Institution and the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched the Housing Solutions Matchmaker Tool. The tool provides crucial housing data at the county level and provides high-level housing solutions to address the challenges the data uncovers. It is designed to be a resource for local officials and their partners to better understand the challenges facing their community’s housing market, how those challenges compare to neighboring counties, and identify solutions and resources to address housing affordability. The tool takes into account that local governments vary in their available resources and authorities, so there is no single strategy or solution that works for all places. Rather, it provides a data-informed assessment, referring local officials to resources that support county leaders’ continued actions to improve the affordability, quality, and supply of local housing stock.

The Housing Matchmaker Tool and more details can be found here and as part of NACo’s County Explorer. The landing page also includes resources for other common housing challenges not addressed by the tool, including homelessness, workforce housing, and coordinating regional housing policy.

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program thanks JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Prudential Foundation for their support of this project.