Inclusionary Zoning
Inclusionary Zoning
Case Study

Inclusionary Zoning

Writer

Lidia Zuin

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Andrei Kuzniatsou @ stock.adobe.com

Municipal policies that reserve a share of zones for low-income households in new developments. Mandatory or voluntary depending on the place, this approach also promises great achievements in terms of efficiency and the mitigation of urban issues such as homelessness and marginalized neighborhoods.
Municipal policies that reserve a share of zones for low-income households in new developments. Mandatory or voluntary depending on the place, this approach also promises great achievements in terms of efficiency and the mitigation of urban issues such as homelessness and marginalized neighborhoods.

An urban-planning policy that allows better housing opportunities by prearranging a percentage of new constructions in certain zones to be destined to low-to-moderate-income households. The withholding works by placing deed restrictions on urban projects to keep housing prices affordable. This policy promotes a mix of affordable and market-free housing, and a more comprehensive range of housing options to vulnerable communities.

Some agreements may encompass the flexibility for developers to construct the units outside the original construction planning, retaining a limited area destined for low-income households. In other cases, authorities may accept fees or land donations instead of affordable units. Currently, most of the policies demand developers to keep property prices reasonable for at least two decades. In order to encourage engagements in the zoning programs, governments may award developers with tax incentives or other fee waivers, for instance.

Present And Future Expectations

In the U.S., there are over 200 communities that have already applied some sort of inclusionary zoning provision —all municipalities in the state of Massachusetts, for instance, are subject to the state General Laws Chapter 40B, which means developers must construct 20% affordable units in their projects. Internationally, with the approval of the Inclusionary Housing Incentives, Regulations, and Mechanisms in 2019, a first of its kind in South Africa, the country began to provide four options for inclusionary housing including specifications regarding price and size limits as well as negotiated options. In the case of new developments of 20 units or more, at least 30% of the dwelling units must fit the inclusionary housing requirements.

By adopting such policies, countries could thus leverage urban socioeconomic and racial integration, as well as providing lower-income households with more egalitarian educational and professional opportunities. Solutions such as Social Program Matching Database could help target these communities and individuals, thus addressing proper measures more precisely. With the help of frameworks such as 3D Printed Architecture, it is possible to foresee reductions in costs and increased efficiency of construction —at least this is the perspective of companies such as ICON, which have been working both in the U.S. and in countries like India to deliver cheaper, climate-resilient, and sustainable 3D-printed houses.

8 topics
Displacement and Migration
Human Rights
Land Governance
Security
Social Protection Systems
Urbanization
Economic Policy
Inclusive Finance
4 SDGs
16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
10 Reduce inequalities
09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

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2 technology domains
1 technology applications
1 stories
2 industries
  • Construction
  • Government & Citizenship
8 topics
  • Displacement and Migration
  • Human Rights
  • Land Governance
  • Security
  • Social Protection Systems
  • Urbanization
  • Economic Policy
  • Inclusive Finance
4 SDGs
  • 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 10 Reduce inequalities
  • 09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure