housing diversity: overview » introduction

How can zoning policies be used to support a diversity of housing types?

Many communities directly prohibit development of multifamily homes and other housing types that can be built at lower costs than conventional detached single-family houses, such as manufactured homes and accessory dwelling units. Others have erected regulatory obstacles that have the effect of rendering these housing types uneconomical, such as unnecessarily-onerous parking or storm water management requirements. The rationale for these restrictive zoning policies is often based on concerns about preservation of neighborhood character and desirability. However, with appropriate zoning and design policies in place, a wide array of housing types can be incorporated into communities without compromising local design standards, property values or quality of life.

Click on the links below to learn about various ways that zoning policy revisions can be used to support a greater diversity of housing types:

Quality HillRevise zoning policies to allow development of a range of housing types "as of right"
Greater housing diversity and affordability may be achieved by revising zoning policies to eliminate both direct and "back door" prohibitions and explicitly allow a range of housing types, rather than requiring a special review process or disallowing certain types of structures entirely.

Providence Walk 2Consider other innovative land use regulations that facilitate delivery of lower-cost homes
Local officials can implement an array of land use tools to create a regulatory environment that is hospitable to the development of homes affordable to working families.

Click here to view other resources on zoning policies that allow housing diversity.