Racial Equity in Inclusionary Housing

How can inclusionary housing programs best incorporate racial equity? These two reports focus on two important elements intended to engage both the process and outcome of racial equity: Advancing racial equity through anti-racist methodologies that engage in transformative change, and advancing racial equity through specific technical elements of inclusionary housing policies, programs and practices.
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Inclusionary Housing in the United States: Prevalence, Practices, and Production in Local Jurisdictions as of 2019

How prevalent are inclusionary housing programs in the United States? What are the program design patterns? And what is the scale of production for these programs? Building on our earlier work, Grounded Solutions Network embarked on a large-scale data collection effort between 2018 and 2019 to study inclusionary housing programs in local jurisdictions. The study yielded this report.
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Inclusionary Housing Calculator 2.0

Grounded Solutions Network is proud to announce the launch of version 2.0 of our Inclusionary Housing Calculator. The Calculator is a web-based tool to help policymakers and community leaders better understand the real estate economics that drive local housing policy choices.
Check it out today


This summary document includes key takeaways from a convening held in July 2018 on key issues and considerations for economic feasibility studies for inclusionary housing, along with a sample Statement of Work that local governments can build on when commissioning such a study. A full, detailed report of findings from the convening is also available. View Summary

Inclusionary Housing Database Map

Grounded Solutions Network’s Inclusionary Housing Database Map is an interactive tool that includes data from two surveys: 1) a national census of local inclusionary housing programs that was conducted in 2016 by Grounded Solutions Network and was updated thereafter, and 2) a national survey of state-level legislation and judicial decisions that are related to the adoption of local inclusionary housing programs. Learn More

2017 Inclusionary Housing Report

Vince Wang, Research Manager at Grounded Solutions Network, recently compiled a policy highlight that draws from a 2016 national survey of programs published by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, to spotlight prevalent program characteristics and their implications for the field. Though the findings are subject to geographical biases of the areas surveyed, the results offer significant insights into the inclusionary housing programs currently operating across the nation. View Highlight


Ten Ways to Talk About Inclusionary Housing Differently

This article from Grounded Solutions Network offers tips to help communicate about inclusionary housing in ways that circumvent common misperceptions and creates a new narrative for policymakers in moderate markets and more conservative political climates. Not every message is right for every community; advocates and policymakers should tailor these messages to their circumstances. View Report

Models for Providing Extremely Low Income Housing

A 2011 report prepared by the Housing Trust Fund Project from the experiences of five State and three Local Housing Trust Funds outlines three model approaches: cross-subsidization between higher and lower income housing, supporting on-going operating and maintenance costs, and providing project or tenant-based rental assistance. View Report. 

The Housing Trust Fund Project

The Housing Trust Fund Project is a program of the Center for Community Change.  The project helps communities establish effective local housing trust funds.  Visit Site.

Setting Affordable Prices

This 20 minute segment of Grounded Solutions Network Video Learning Series focuses on the factors that go into setting an appropriate purchase price for Below Market-Rate homeownership units. View video.

Preservation of Affordable Homeownership

This report provides an overview of the range of mechanisms that local governments use to ensure that housing funds invested in affordable homeownership today are able to serve additional families into the future. Download report.

New Jersey Administrative Manual

The state of New Jersey publishes a very comprehensive manual to guide the development and administration of local inclusionary housing programs. While some of the procedures are specific to New Jersey’s Fair Housing Act, most of the manual describes best practices that would be applicable to inclusionary programs in other states.  View Manual 

Video Learning Series: Resale Formulas

Grounded Solution Networks’ Video Learning Series offers an in-depth 60 minute course on developing an effective formula to preserve long term affordability for affordable homeownership units. View video

The Balancing Act: Resale Formula Options for Long-Term Affordable Homeownership Programs

This report provides an easy to digest overview of the goals for shared equity resale formulas and describes some of the most common options. View Report

Stewardship Standards

The Stewardship Standards for Homeownership Programs was developed collaboratively by a number of national organizations, practitioners, and experts for the purpose of providing an educational resource and measurable framework to help homeownership programs with long-term affordability requirements achieve excellence and maximize impact.  View Standards

Ensuring Continued Affordability in Homeownership Programs

This report by two California attorneys describes in detail the proven mechanisms that local governments have used to protect long-term affordability of below market-rate homeownership units. The report includes case studies of successful litigation over the enforcement of affordable homeownership restrictions. View Report

Repair and Replacement Reserves for Homeownership: A How-To Guide

The deferred maintenance of resale-restricted homes can significantly undermine the success of the program. Community Land Trusts, leaders in the long-term stewardship of resale-restricted housing industry, have started implementing repair and replacement reserves as part of their stewardship program in order to better ensure the long-term viability of the homes themselves. This guide outlines various options for funding and implementing such a strategy. View Guide

Homeowners Association Dues and Inclusionary Housing Policy

The added cost and unpredictability of homeowners association (HOA) dues can affect the success of inclusionary housing policies. Many inclusionary housing programs encounter the problem of rising HOA dues, which undermine the affordability of below market-rate (BMR) homes. Particularly in high-priced markets, HOA dues can form a significant portion of the home cost for low-income residents. While there are a number of best practices that help protect affordable homeowners, there are no perfect solutions. This document lists best practices from which to create a successful HOA policy. View Document

Delivering on the Promise of Inclusionary Housing Policies: Best Practices in Administration and Monitoring

Inclusionary housing programs require a certain level of ongoing administration and oversight in order to effectively produce and preserve affordable housing opportunities. This paper outlines several of the common tasks associated with ongoing administration of inclusionary housing programs and describes some of the approaches to staffing and paying for their implementation. The paper also provides an overview of the choices that have the greatest impact on the jurisdiction’s administrative workload.  View Paper

Preservation of Affordable Homeownership: A Continuum of Strategies

This report by the National Housing Conference’s Center for Housing Policy compares the range of affordability preservation mechanism used to protect public investment in affordable homeownership units. View Report

Achieving Lasting Affordability Through Inclusionary Housing

This paper analyzes a set of 20 inclusionary housing programs to highlight how long affordability periods, strong legal mechanisms, carefully designed resale formulas, dedicated program stewardship, and strategic partnerships can help preserve affordable homes.  View Paper

Making Inclusionary Housing More Flexible: Four Ideas for Urban Settings

This policy brief presents four ideas for improving the flexibility of inclusionary housing and expanding the menu of options available to developers – while at the same time promoting mixed-income neighborhoods. View Policy Brief

Geographic Scope and Tiering of Inclusionary Housing Policies

This memo highlights lessons learned from U.S. cities that have implemented effective but flexible inclusionary housing policies including three main types of practices: (1) geographically targeted policies by census tract; (2) policies limited to specific zoning districts; and (3) policies which vary by project type. View memo

Inclusionary Housing Program Design Worksheet

This worksheet gives municipalities the tools to design the basic structure of an inclusionary housing program. The worksheet helps municipalities define need, outline a basic program structure, plan policy choices, describe incentives, and decide compliance alternatives. View Worksheet

National Survey of Statutory Authority and Practical Considerations for the Implementation of Inclusionary Zoning Ordinances

(Hollister, Timothy S., Allison M. McKeene, and Danielle G. McGrath. 2007. Washington, DC: National Association of Home Builders.) This study by the National Association of Home Builders is the most comprehensive survey of state laws and policies that encourage, prohibit, or otherwise impact the design of local inclusionary housing ordinances. View Study

Best Practices for Inclusionary Housing Feasibility Studies

This memo outlines the reasons municipalities should complete a feasibility study, the key components of a typical feasibility study, and Grounded Solutions’ best practices for designing and preparing inclusionary housing feasibility studies. View Memo

After the Downturn: New Challenges and Opportunities for Inclusionary Housing

This paper examines how inclusionary housing policies fared during the nation’s historic housing downturn, as well as the major issues and opportunities that confront inclusionary housing today. View Paper

Policy Brief: Economics and Planning Literature on Inclusionary Housing Policies

The Economics and Planning Literature on Inclusionary Housing Policies lists key peer-reviewed studies from the economics and planning literature on inclusionary housing policies. In general, these studies address the market effects of both impact fees and inclusionary housing policies, including their effects on housing production, housing prices, and land values. For those key studies in this area, the document includes a short description of the authors’ findings and methodology. View Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Economics of Inclusionary Housing Policies: Effects on Housing Prices

Effects on Housing Prices addresses whether cities that implement an inclusionary housing policy will experience significant increases in the price of market-rate housing. The memo draws on an extensive review of the current theory and evidence in the economic research to answer this question. View Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Economics of Inclusionary Housing Policies: Effects on Housing Production

Effects on Housing Production addresses whether cities that implement an inclusionary housing policy will experience a decline in the production of new market-rate homes. The memo draws on an extensive review of the current theory and evidence in the economic research to answer this question. View Policy Brief

Separating Fact from Fiction to Design Effective Inclusionary Housing Programs

Critics often claim that inclusionary housing policies are not effective at producing affordable housing and have negative impacts on local housing markets. However, the most highly regarded empirical evidence suggests that inclusionary housing programs can produce affordable housing, and that these programs do not lead to significant declines in overall housing production or to increases in market-rate prices. Read report

Inclusionary Housing: Building More Equitable Communities

This guidebook to inclusionary housing includes a high level overview of the legal issues and key federal and state court opinions that influence the design of local inclusionary housing ordinances. View guidebook

Reason Foundation

One of the primary sources of formal opposition to the idea of inclusionary housing has been the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank based in southern California. Their research and opinion pieces consistently argue that high housing prices are the result of too much government regulation, and they see inclusionary policies as yet another requirement that adds to the cost of building. View website

Large Cities and Inclusionary Zoning

Detailed profiles of inclusionary housing programs in Boston, San Francisco, Denver, Sacramento and San Diego. View profiles

What Makes Inclusionary Zoning Happen?

What makes one community more quickly adopt an inclusionary housing policy than another community? Using a database developed in collaboration with Grounded Solutions Network, researchers at the National Housing Conference and the University of Maryland developed a model to explain the rate of program adoption in local jurisdictions across the country. View report

Affordable By Choice: Trends in California Inclusionary Housing Programs

This report examines inclusionary policies all over the state of California and looks at their effectiveness, what kinds of homes were produced, who lived in these homes, and the overall impact on the city or county. View Report


HousingPolicy.org is a resource site designed to help local policymakers understand local housing policy options and identify more resources to support affordable housing. View Website

Paycheck to Paycheck

This tool makes it easy to compare wages and housing costs to visualize the challenge that American workers face in paying for housing. The database includes wage and housing cost data from 108 regions and 81 common occupations. Paycheck to Paycheck Tool

Policy Map

PolicyMap provides a user friendly and graphical way to explore data about housing markets, the need for affordable housing, and the existing stock of affordable housing in every community. Visit PolicyMap

Policy Brief: Potential Dedicated Revenue Sources to Support Affordable Housing Production

This document briefly summarizes a variety of potential dedicated revenue sources to support affordable housing development, including taxes and fees, voter-approved bonds, debt and equity funds, and special purpose revenue districts. For each type, the matrix describes how the revenue source works, how it is implemented, its revenue generating potential, as well as some examples. View Policy Brief