When people work to make our cities better places, they contribute to rising housing costs. Public investment in transit, roads, schools, and parks that make neighborhoods livable and walkable further increase housing demand. Ideally, everyone would benefit from improved cities, but in reality, the benefits of improvement are not shared equally. As housing and land costs increase, a relatively small number of landowners receive most of the benefit while, often, the lowest income local residents bear much of the burden in the form of higher rents and displacement pressure.

Residents looking for a new home soon face a choice among several undesirable options: longer commute times, overcrowding, substandard housing, or paying so much for housing that there is not enough left for other essentials.

Recognizing that this market-driven dynamic will not change naturally, more and more communities have been consciously seeking to promote mixed-income development. Rather than accepting the assumption that economic growth must automatically lead to economic exclusion, they have been developing local policies that seek to increase economic inclusion.

Common Questions


Inclusionary Upzoning

This paper profiles six localities that have adopted inclusionary housing policies tied to upzoning, referred to here as “inclusionary upzoning.” Read Paper

On Common Ground: Joint Principles on Inclusionary Housing Policies

The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and the Home Builders Association of Northern California issued this joint policy brief with recommendations for jurisdictions interested in adopting an inclusionary policy. View Policy Brief