White Paper: Overcoming Opposition to Multifamily Rental Housing
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  • Multifamily rental housing can, and should, play an important role in housing our growing population, but there is opposition both to higher-density housing (compact development) and to rental housing among: (a) some residents in communities in or around proposed development sites; (b) local officials (including planning agency and zoning officials); and (c) the public at large.

  • This white paper identifies and examines the nature of local resistance to apartments, the reasons behind it and how it can be overcome.  It is organized in two sections. 

  • The first identifies, and then offers evidence to refute, the most common arguments against apartments, including misplaced notions that apartments lower nearby property values, overburden schools, produce less revenue for local governments, exacerbate traffic congestion and increase crime rates. 

  • The second section offers tactics and strategies to mobilize support for specific apartment properties.   It outlines the five essential components of a successful outreach campaign, examining ways to improve the public information process, to constructively engage neighbors, to identify and recruit potential sponsors and how to manage the public hearing process.

The document was originally produced for the National Policy Summit on Rental Housing sponsored by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.


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