As the affordable housing crisis has been growing, federal resources for affordable housing have been declining.  This has created an increasing challenge for local governments.  Increasingly, local cities and counties are using their role as “regulators” to ensure that new residential developments include new affordable residential units for low-income and working families. The main tool for doing this is local land use policy.

Creating Affordable Housing

Inclusionary housing policies are notable for their ability to create more affordable housing, but also to do so in neighborhoods with access to transportation, quality jobs, good schools, and safe streets.

Redlining, zoning policies, urban renewal programs, mortgage lending practices, and a variety of other discriminatory policies have created concentrations of poverty in many cities and towns. Inclusionary housing policies help reverse these trends by creating affordable housing in places that are desirable to residents of all income levels and in neighborhoods where market-rate housing is being built.

Benefits of Inclusionary Housing

Numerous studies* attest to the lasting benefits of living in a mixed-income neighborhood with access to jobs and amenities. Low-income families who move into low-poverty neighborhoods tend to experience physical and mental health improvements and increased self-esteem and motivation. They are also more likely to be employed when compared to residents who move into high-poverty neighborhoods.

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What is Inclusionary Housing?

“Inclusionary housing” refers to a range of local policies that tap the economic gains from rising real estate values to create affordable housing opportunities for low- or moderate-income households. Continue reading

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What Problems Does It Address?

Inclusionary housing has become increasingly common in cities and towns across the United States. Its growing popularity has been fueled by the intersection of several distinct motivations. Continue reading

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Can Inclusionary Housing Make a Difference?

There is no national data on the rate at which inclusionary housing programs are producing new affordable units. Continue reading

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What Are the Downsides?

Inclusionary housing does not make sense in every community. Continue reading