This document discusses many of the major considerations involved in designing an inclusionary zoning program for the purpose of creating more affordable housing in a community. Topics covered include: appropriate markets for inclusionary programs; mandatory versus voluntary programs; impact on landowners and developers; need for economic analysis of proposals; nexus argument; definition of affordable housing; applicability of guidelines; qualifying individual households; percentage and types of affordable housing required; construction standards; nature and duration of affordability controls; provision of affordable housing on-site and off-site; payments in lieu of providing affordable housing; regulatory agreements and enforcement; compensating benefits to developers; and desired results of guidelines. A program design checklist addresses similar issues more succinctly.
This information will be of use to localities and jurisdictions creating housing policy. Programs of this type are most applicable to strong real estate markets where increasing market prices of land have forced out most affordable housing construction. Because of its brief and summary nature, this document does not describe in detail legal issues, examples of local programs, the general effectiveness of such programs or many day-to-day administrative issues. The brief does not address staffing requirements or internal costs to local governments that implement these programs.