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 Mickelson, Senior Director of Policy, at smickelson@nlihc.org or 202.662.1530 x228.

Memo to Members and Partners Articles

September 23, 2019

HUD Publishes Proposed Rules to Implement Several HOTMA Provisions

HUD published on September 17 proposed changes to the regulations for the public housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Section 8 project-based rental assistance programs, implementing income-calculation and income-review changes required by the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016…

August 26, 2019

HUD Seeks Housing-Provider Volunteers in REAC Pilot

HUD is seeking public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties to volunteer for its Real Estate Inspection Center (REAC) pilot project. According to a Federal Register notice on August 21, over the course of two years HUD will inspect 4,500 properties…

July 15, 2019

HUD Multifamily Memo Reminds Owners of Obligations to Residents

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing issued a Memorandum to owners and management agents of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties reminding them about existing guidance regarding their obligations to residents. Five topics are addressed in the Memorandum dated July 8.  Owners must notify…