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Zoning changes to facilitate the use of lower-cost housing types overview

In many cities, towns, and counties, changes to local zoning policies can help to facilitate the development of lower-cost housing types, such as accessory dwelling unitA small, self-contained unit inside of, or attached to a larger single-family home., manufactured homeHouses partially or wholly built in a factory, then brought to the site for assembly and installation. Also referred to as prefabricated homes., multifamily housing, micro-units, or single-room occupancy developments.

While each of these types of housing tends to be more affordable than certain other housing types, their availability depends in part on the provisions laid out in the local zoning ordinanceA law adopted by a local government pertaining to an issue within its legal power. or code. For example, some zoning policies specify that there may be only one dwelling unit per parcel of land (restricting the development of accessory dwelling units) or prohibit the use of manufactured housing or multifamily housing in particular residential districts. Some local jurisdictions must revise their zoning policies to allow for development of these types of units in some or all parts of town.

Additional Resources

Administering agencies

Planning department/zoning commission, possibly in partnership with the local department of housing or community development

Policy objectives

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