NLIHC works on the preservation of public and assisted housing through a range of initiatives, including a ground-breaking National Housing Preservation Database. NLIHC engages in data collection and management in an effort to catalog and preserve housing resources. Learn more about our National Housing Preservation Database.

NLIHC also works to ensure:

  • Full funding to renew all project-based contracts for 12-month terms within the HUD appropriations bill.
  • No increases to the mandatory monthly minimum rent charged to project-based tenants.
  • Legislation and regulations that minimally will include the following:
    1. a required unique identifier for each federally assisted housing property,
    2. establishment of  a national preservation inventory,
    3. full resident participation, enhanced voucher protections, and resident first right to purchase their buildings;
    4. alternatives to converting to the market rate for properties with expiring contracts or maturing mortgages;
    5. tools and resources for residents and advocates to work on the preservation of assisted housing; and,
    6. prohibition of involuntary displacement.

Project-based assistance is fixed to a property. From the mid‐1960s to the mid-1980s, the federal government encouraged the development of affordable rental housing through a variety of public-private partnership programs. The government provided financial incentives for the private sector to build and maintain multifamily rental housing affordable to low-income households, through below-market interest rate loans, interest rate subsidies, a subsidized mortgage, a long-term Section 8 project-based rental assistance contract (PBRA), or in some cases a mix of project-based rental assistance and one of the other incentives. The largest such program was the project‐based Section 8 program. Currently, no additional units are being produced through these programs. This assisted, privately‐owned rental housing is located in every part of the country and is critically important to the families that call it home.

The National Housing Preservation Database identifies more than 18,000 unassisted unities in 76 properties in 33 states and the District of Columbia that are at risk of mortgage maturity or the expiration of use restrictions or assistance between FY18 and FY 24. Using the National Housing Preservation Database, the Urban Institute estimates that of the approximately 1.34 million active PBRA units, more that 446,000 units (33%) are at risk of losing their affordability status. Of the PBRA units currently at risk, the majority (397,000 units) are at risk because of contracts that expire within the next 24 months.


For more information on public housing, contact Sarah Saadian, Senior Director of Policy, at [email protected] or 202.662.1530 x228.

Memo to Members and Partners Articles

August 2, 2021

HUD Multifamily Office Posts Update to Coronavirus Questions and Answers

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily), which oversees contracts with private owners of HUD-assisted properties, issued its 11th update to “Questions and Answers for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” on July 29. The latest version…

July 12, 2021

NHLP Webinar to Address the Fight to Save Section 515 Rural Housing

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) will hold a webinar on July 14 at 3 pm ET to inform advocates on how they can protect low-income residents of private housing that has Rural Development (RD) Section 515 assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than 145,000 Section 515…

June 14, 2021

Updated Brochure Informs HUD Multifamily Tenants about CDC Eviction Moratorium

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs (Multifamily) posted an update to “Addressing Tenant Concerns During the COVID-19 National Emergency” (see Memo, 4/27/20). The three-page brochure reminds residents living in private multifamily properties assisted with Section 8 Project-Based Rental…