Recently, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Terwilliger Center for Housing conducted an applied policy research project to define a framework for improving resident and property stability post-pandemic, defined as “the ability of a renter household, regardless of means, to live in a safe, decent, and attainable home without undue risk of involuntary displacement. This proposition requires the ability of property owners to be able to operate and steward properties in a manner that enables the ongoing safety, quality, and financial viability of those properties.” To define a framework, ULI researchers conducted a data and literature review and engaged with a wide range of practitioners representing both the tenant and real estate industry perspectives.
Over the course of this research project, ULI observed a range of challenges and barriers to stability, from both the renter household and the property owner and manager perspective. Cutting across these cohorts was the fact that perspectives were considerably shaped by the actions of a relatively small number of bad-faith actors who have a disproportionately negative impact for both stability and policymaking. Nonetheless, ULI summarizes that those barriers to resident stability for renter households center on underlying financial vulnerability and a severe shortage of decent, attainable rental housing units. To address these barriers, ULI recommends specific interventions, such as focusing on ensuring vulnerable tenants can fulfill their rent obligations to protect both residents, property owners and managers today and ensuring housing quality and access in the future.