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Inclusionary zoning overview

Inclusionary zoningRegulation or incentive to include units within a development for low- and moderate-income families. Also referred to as inclusionary housing. (IZ) policies create dedicated affordable housing units by requiring or encouraging developers to include a specified share of below-market units as part of market-rate rental or homeowner developments.

IZ policies leverage the private market, generally allowing new affordable units to be created with little or no public subsidy. Depending on how an IZ policy is structured, IZ can also be an effective way to ensure that affordable units are integrated throughout the community, including in low-poverty neighborhoods and resource-rich areas near public transportation, good schools, and high-quality healthcare.

Because the creation of affordable units through an IZ policy depends on the development of market-rate housing, this approach is most likely to yield a significant amount of affordable housing in markets with a robust level of construction activity (or where new development is anticipated). IZ policies work best when they are tailored to the development realities of the city or county to which they apply and regularly revisited to ensure they keep pace with changing market circumstances.

Additional Resources

Administering agencies

Planning department/zoning commission – responsible for policy design and adoption in the zoning code.

Local department of housing or community development – responsible for policy design and ongoing monitoring and program administration.

Policy objectives

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