inclusionary zoning: overview » introduction

How do inclusionary zoning policies work?

Inclusionary zoning policies increase the availability of affordable homes by requiring (or encouraging through incentives) developers of new residential buildings or subdivisions to set aside a modest portion of homes for low- and moderate-income families. While there are some basic elements that all policies cover, the specific terms of an inclusionary zoning ordinance are relatively flexible and may be tailored to address local housing needs and market conditions.

Listen to a podcast from September 2008 with Vicki Been, Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University. She is one of the authors of The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets: Lessons from the San Francisco, Washington DC and Suburban Boston areas, a report prepared by the Furman Center for the Center for Housing Policy on the effects of inclusionary zoning in three housing markets. Dr. Been discusses the findings from this report and implications for communities interested in adopting their own inclusionary policies.

Click on the linksbelow to learn more about how inclusionary zoning policies work:

Mariposa ApartmentsAffordability Provisions
All inclusionary zoning policies contain basic components specifying when and how the policy is applied, including whether participation is mandatory or voluntary, the income level(s) targeted and the share of units that must be set aside as affordable.

Villas on SixthIncentives and Cost Offsets
Mandatory inclusionary zoning policies frequently include provisions, such as density bonuses, designed to "offset" any foregone revenue associated with the inclusionary requirements. In a voluntary inclusionary zoning program, similar concessions are provided as incentives for participation.

Fairbanks RidgeOther Considerations
Few housing policies have generated as much attention and controversy as inclusionary zoning. Beyond the basic mechanics of the ordinance, there are other key issues that communities thinking about inclusionary zoning should consider.

Click here to view more resources on inclusionary zoning.