Joint Release from the Center for Housing Policy and The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University

The Effects of Inclusionary Zoning on Local Housing Markets:
Lessons from the San Francisco, Washington DC and Suburban Boston Areas

March 2008, updated February 2010

Inclusionary zoning is a policy tool that ties the production of affordable homes to the production of new market-rate housing by requiring, or providing incentives to encourage, developers to reserve a share of units in new residential developments for low- or moderate-income households. While hundreds of communities have established inclusionary zoning programs since the first policy was adopted in 1972, relatively little is known about the effects of these programs on local housing markets.

Photo credit: BRIDGE Housing


This report helps to advance the current understanding of inclusionary zoning by answering the following questions about programs in three metropolitan areas:

  1. What kinds of jurisdictions have adopted inclusionary zoning programs?

  2. How much affordable housing has been produced by these programs, and what factors have influenced production levels?

  3. What effects have inclusionary zoning programs had on the price and production of market-rate housing in these markets?

Additional Resources on Inclusionary Zoning, the Center's online guide to state and local housing policy, includes a section focused on inclusionary zoning requirements and incentives. Visitors to the site will find detailed information about the components of inclusionary zoning policies, popular incentives and cost offsets, and case studies and examples from communities that have adopted inclusionary programs.

Inclusionary Zoning: The California Experience
NHC Affordable Housing Policy Review
Release Date: February 2004
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Inclusionary Zoning: Lessons Learned in Massachusetts
NHC Affordable Housing Policy Review
Release Date: January 2002
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Inclusionary Zoning: A Viable Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis?
New Century Housing
Release Date: October 2000
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