St. Louis County Housing Strategy
St. Louis County, Missouri
North St. Louis County, having experienced decades of housing deterioration for a host of reasons—began to suffer accelerated decline as a result of the foreclosure crisis from 2008 to 2012. St. Louis County and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWG) hired DS to develop an affordable housing strategy. Early in the process, it was determined that both areas had plenty of affordable housing—it is quality affordable housing that is in need. This set about the need for a very different set of policy initiatives with a holistic approach to addressing issues of economic decline and shrinking federal resources to address problems.
A strategy that improved market conditions to stimulate local private investment, as well as one that leveraged investment by anchor institutions, was needed. A four-pronged strategy to improve housing conditions in the targeted areas was recommended.
• Improve the market: Investment of scarce resources was recommended in areas with the greatest potential to act as catalysts.
• Land banking: Several strategies were recommended, including urban farms, greenway networks, and natural soil remediation.
• Housing toolkit A toolkit was provided to address foreclosures, absentee landlords, and housing discrimination.
• Decision making: Data and web tools were provided and/or recommended.