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Publications in this section highlight tools and strategies for addressing housing challenges in your community. The Center’s housing solutions resources cover a broad range of topics – from state and local policies to preserve and expand the supply of affordable homes to efforts to meet the housing needs of older adults and families in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.
Housing serves as more than just shelter. Research has shown that affordable and stable housing can be a platform for families' education, health, and economic wellbeing (Brennan 2011; Brennan and Lubell 2012; Cohen 2011). An adequate supply of housing affordable to all residents contributes to a sustainable and diverse community. Because needs for lower-cost housing generally are not well served by the market, local governments, along with their private-sector and nonprofit partners, play a critical role in building and preserving affordable housing. A natural disaster highlights the difficulty local governments face in providing affordable housing.
Reducing the land costs of a residential project can be a valuable way to foster housing affordability for lower-income residents in the Washington, DC metro area. Given the region’s strong economy, growing population, and shortage of available land in desirable locations, the Washington, DC area is home to some of the highest land costs nationwide, making it difficult to build housing that is priced at levels affordable to low- and moderate-income households. By offering publicly owned land at reduced or no cost to developers, communities can reduce overall development costs significantly and make affordable housing possible with much lower direct public subsidy.
A Profile of the Richmond Health and Wellness Program at Dominion Place in Richmond, Virginia
This paper profiles six localities that have adopted inclusionary housing policies tied to upzoning, referred to here as “inclusionary upzoning.” Each profile provides a sketch of how the policy is structured and how effective it has been. Drawing on these examples, the paper explores how neighborhood context, market context, and policy design may affect the success of inclusionary upzoning policies and their potential for adoption in new areas of the country where inclusionary housing has not yet been implemented. The paper concludes with a discussion of areas for future research.
Inclusionary housing policies are local land use policies that link approvals for market-rate housing to the creation of affordable homes for low- and moderate-income households. The primary goals of inclusionary housing programs are to expand the supply of affordable housing and promote social and economic integration. The ability to not only produce affordable homes, but also to ensure their long-term affordability, is critical for meeting the housing needs of the lower-income families and individuals that inclusionary housing programs aim to serve. This paper analyzes a set of 20 inclusionary housing programs to highlight how long affordability periods, strong legal mechanisms, carefully designed resale formulas, dedicated program stewardship, and strategic partnerships can help preserve affordable homes produced through inclusionary housing programs for multiple generations.