Inclusionary housing programs are local policies that tap the economic gains from rising real estate values to create affordable housing for lower income families.  An inclusionary housing program might require developers to sell or rent 10 to 30 percent of new residential units to lower-income residents.

Many, but not all, programs partially offset the cost of providing affordable units by offering developers one or more incentives such as tax abatements, parking reductions, or the right to build at higher densities. Most programs recognize that it’s not always feasible to include affordable on-site units within market-rate projects. In some cases, developers can  choose among alternatives, such as payment of an in-lieu fee or provision of affordable off-site units in another project.

Inclusionary Zoning

Inclusionary housing policies are sometimes referred to as “inclusionary zoning” because this type of requirement might be implemented through the zoning code; however, many programs impose similar requirements outside the zoning code.

Is Inclusionary Housing Right for Your Community?

Because inclusionary housing policies involve intervening in the real estate market, these programs can be controversial. Inclusionary housing may not be appropriate for every community, but it is a tool that has been used successfully in more than 500 cities or counties and it can be adapted to a wide range of local circumstances. It is important to carefully evaluate the advantages and challenges of inclusionary housing and to learn from other communities that have applied the tool.

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How Does Inclusionary Housing Work?

“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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Where does Inclusionary Housing Work?

Inclusionary housing policies have been adopted in more states and places than commonly thought. A nationwide scan identified 507 inclusionary housing programs in 482 local jurisdictions. Continue reading