Fannie Mae has collaborated with the Urban Institute to launch a new public data source on land-use practices. Fannie Mae has used data from the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey (NLLUS) to create this resource.
According to Michael LaCour-Little, Director of Economics at Fannie Mae, this resource will help the GSE achieve one of its strategic objectives—to help expand access to affordable housing across the US by identifying barriers to new supply.
Little explained that the NLLUS data, which includes government land survey findings from 1994, 2003, and 2019. "The [data] can be used to describe land-use practices, and assess whether those practices have changed over time, allowing an analysis of the relationship between land-use practices and housing supply and affordability," he wrote on Fannie Mae's Perspectives blog.
He said that overly restrictive land-use regulations resulted in low- and moderate-income households bearing disproportionate costs. As a result, many of these households had to put up with long commutes to reach more affordable housing options. Additionally, the lack of affordable housing across markets "tends to limit economic growth since workers can't afford to move to areas where job opportunities are available."
Here's where the NLLUS data made accessible to the public through the Fannie Mae and Urban Institute partnership can help, according to Little.
The surveys included in the NLLUS database includes coverage of a variety of land-use and zoning practices. The data could show how zoning may limit the development of manufactured housing, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and tiny homes, as well as limit the construction of multifamily rental properties.
Additionally, the data is available through easy-to-use file formats. Little said that the data consolidates and simplifies access to both current and historical land-use data. This enables users to explore the data interactively and/or download findings into .csv formatted files that then can be used in a variety of programs.
"The findings collected through the survey and presented through the new dataset offer critical insights into the repercussions of restrictive land-use regulations," he said. "Our hope is that industry stakeholders will use the data to help break down barriers to affordable and sustainable housing opportunities."