Is inclusionary Zoning inclusionary? A Guide for Practitioners

Is inclusionary Zoning inclusionary? A Guide for Practitioners

Inclusionary zoning (IZ) has become an increasingly popular tool for providing affordable housing in an economically integrative manner. IZ policies typically require developers to set aside a proportion of units in market-rate residential developments to be made affordable for lower-income households in exchange for development rights or zoning variances. These poli- cies are considered “inclusionary” because they are intended to allow lower- and moderate- income households to buy or rent property in middle- and upper-income communities. Although IZ policies have been implemented in many states and localities, little research has been conducted to determine whether these policies are having the intended inclusionary effect for IZ recipients.
This report examines IZ programs across 11 jurisdictions to determine whether IZ poli- cies succeed in providing its recipients access to low-poverty neighborhoods and homes that are residentially assigned to high-performing schools. This would be notable, since a recent national study reveals that exclusionary zoning yielding low-density housing increases the like- lihood that low-income households are priced out of homes that are located in neighborhoods with high-scoring schools (Rothwell, 2012). The purpose of this study is also to highlight the key features of IZ policies and the ways in which they might affect program success. Detailed summaries of each of the IZ programs and maps of IZ locations are provided in the appendixes.
The report should be of interest to city planners and municipal officials from housing and education departments as they consider policies to provide affordable housing within their jurisdictions and means to give children from families earning lower incomes access to low- poverty or high-performing schools.

Heather L. Schwartz, Liisa Ecola, Kristin J. Leuschner, and Aaron Kofner

RAND Corporation


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By |2019-06-07T07:58:56-07:00June 7th, 2019|Affordability, Land Use Regulation, Reference, Reforms|