Generally, EHI:

  1. educates the public about equitable housing policies that federal, state and local governments can adopt,
  2. monitors governmental housing policies, investigates exclusionary policies, and works to correct them;
  3. identifies jurisdictions in which rights of lower-income people to opportunities for affordable housing are unfulfilled;
  4. determine the bona fides of lower-income people in those jurisdictions who claim to have been deprived of those rights;
  5. interact with legislative, rulemaking and policymaking bodies to promote adequate opportunities for affordable housing.

EHI is preparing a comprehensive report on best practices for effective control of regulatory barriers to affordable housing (exclusionary housing policies) through legislation. Effective legislation will be crucial to the general elimination of those barriers, statewide or nationwide, in the foreseeable future. (Litigation, though important, generally does not have such widespread effects.)

EHI law clerks have drafted extensive analyses of the limited number of state statutes on the subject. Although no state has devised a statute that effectively controls those barriers, EHI believes it can be done. EHI will call on a wide range of housing affordability experts nationwide for comment, and it will publish the final versions of those reports.

EHI has explained to the public the problem of exclusionary housing policies, and remedies for such policies, in letters published by newspapers such as the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. For more, click on EHI LETTERS IN WASHINGTON POSTWSJ on new exclusionary policies.

EHI also has published numerous reports on both national and local aspects of exclusionary housing policies. Links to those reports are included below. EHI reports on national issues include:

  • An analysis of the final rule promulgated in July 2015 by the U. S. Dep’t of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), entitled Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)—requiring greater evaluation and corrective action by federal housing grant applicants, regarding exclusionary and other discriminatory housing conditions in their jurisdictions. HUD issues AFFH Rule. (2015)

Through its hands-on advocacy before local governmental bodies in its home area, EHI has been a catalyst for major improvements in local planning for housing in numerous, new transit-oriented developments (TOD’s), since EHI’s founding in 2008.

For example, more than 15,000 additional housing units—including thousands of units made affordable to low- and moderate-income people—have been included in plans for new Metrorail (commuter rail) stations in western Fairfax County (EHI is headquartered in that county), since EHI got involved. For more, click on EHI's FIRST FIVE YEARS (“Local Projects”).

 Similarly, in neighboring Loudoun County, there has been a major advance in the number of housing units under consideration by county planners for new Metrorail station areas, since EHI got involved. (Metrorail’s Silver Line will connect the region-wide system to Dulles International Airport and beyond, within a few years.)  For more, click on Loudoun Metrorail-area planning update--June 2016.

EHI’s advocacy has contributed to the trend of the last several years of substantially lower rent increases in EHI’s Local Emphasis Area (the Washington, DC, region), than in comparable housing markets generally, across the United States. For more, click on EHI REPORT ON DC REGION'S IMPROVING RENTAL HOUSING COST RECORD.

According to Inside Philanthropy magazine, EHI “holds one of the keys” to “the goal of more integrated communities and schools.” With EHI’s “detailed research on housing law, and its ability to help municipalities take a hard look at their assumptions and priorities, EHI has an important role to play in the fight for fair housing.” For more, click on Inside Philanthropy urges funders to support EHI

EHI wants to expand its hands-on advocacy to other regions of the United States. All it will take is money for the needed staff and facilities! (EHI’s accomplishments to date have come with a tiny staff that is all-volunteer!)