Zach Murray, State and Local Policy Specialist, Grounded Solutions Network
Debates over how to best address skyrocketing rents and the lack of affordable housing loom large in cities in every corner of the country. Renewed demand for living in cities among millennials and empty nesters, a limited supply of new housing construction in a number of markets, and sharp cuts in federal housing assistance funding to local communities are producing a crisis. Now more than ever, cities and municipalities are tasked with leveraging limited local resources to adopt policies that can address aspects of the affordable housing crisis. Enter: Inclusionary Housing. More and more cities and counties are launching inclusionary housing programs that require developers to include a portion of their newly built units (often between 10-20%) for low and moderate income earners.
Why are communities looking to inclusionary housing? And just how does inclusionary housing work anyway? Before today, a Google search of inclusionary housing might turn up the website of a nearby city’s inclusionary housing program, perhaps a few technical policy reports, and a news article or two on recent heated debates in city hall. Until now, information about this complex tool was simply too hard to access. Not super helpful for someone interested in successfully implementing a program locally and even less helpful given the truly intensive nature of detailed inclusionary housing policies. But now anyone interested in learning about inclusionary housing, developing a new program or modifying an existing program can access a wealth of information in one place. Grounded Solutions Network, with support from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the National Housing Conference, is pleased to introduce InclusionaryHousing.org, the new go-to online resource to help advocates and policymakers build and implement successful inclusionary housing policies from the ground up.
InclusionaryHousing.org closes the gaps in knowledge so that more communities can develop the best inclusionary policy possible. The site lays out the particulars of the policy, providing the basics for people who want inclusionary housing explained, detailing the distinct program design questions for consideration when developing a program, and offering tons of valuable information to ensure that existing programs are well managed. Nearly every page of the site includes local case studies, lifting up valuable examples to help effectively tailor programs to a community’s needs. We believe that what is required to make inclusionary policies work is careful attention to local needs and an understanding of what type of policy the local market can feasibly support.
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