Mapping the Potential and Identifying the Barriers to Faith-Based Housing Development: Terner Center Policy Brief

“As cities grapple with where and how to build more affordable housing, identifying land that could support new development has become a top priority. One option that offers a potential solution: expanding the ability of religious institutions to build housing on their land. Churches, as well as other faith-based organizations, often own underutilized land and/or structures which could be used to expand the supply of affordable housing. Doing so would provide significant untapped benefits for the organization, from supporting the organization’s charitable mission to providing revenue that can stabilize the organization’s finances.”

See below to read the Terner Center for Housing Innovation report, which presents detailed findings on the total amount of land currently used for religious purposes in California and the estimated amounts of this land that could be suitable for housing. The report also examines the barriers facing religious institutions seeking to build housing, and concludes with recommended policy actions that could help religious institutions overcome those barriers.