Local governments across the country have incentives to adopt zoning laws and other land-use regulations that limit the production of housing, particularly multifamily and subsidized units. These restrictions reduce the overall supply of housing and perpetuate racial and economic segregation. The federal government can play an important role in lifting local barriers to fair and affordable housing, and we suggest an approach that would encourage states to adopt more inclusive policies. Specifically, the federal government should require that to receive competitive funding for housing, transportation, and infrastructure, states must demonstrate measurable progress toward meeting regional housing needs and distributing affordable housing across a diverse range of communities. This essay is part of the Opportunity for All project.
How the Federal Government Can Help Eliminate Exclusionary Zoning