Research Report Mandating Access to Affordable Housing, City by City: Is France’s Fair-Share SRU Law a Model for U.S. Metropolitan Areas?
Yonah Freemark
Display Date

This paper examines the impacts of the Loi relative à la Solidarité et au renouvellement urbains (SRU) law, which was designed to encourage more equitable distribution of affordable housing in French metropolitan areas to reduce the concentration of families living in poverty and increase access to opportunity. This regulation mandates that many urban municipalities designate 25 percent of their housing stock to units affordable to households with low and moderate incomes by 2025. Communities that do not comply face budgetary penalties. I find that the law was associated with a flattening out of the distribution of affordable housing, with the most exclusionary cities and suburbs experiencing a fivefold increase in availability. The effectiveness of the law increased when penalties expanded. I also show how a similar requirement could be applied to segregated regions in the United States.

External Link:

Research Areas Global issues Social safety net Race and equity Land use Housing
Tags International public administration and local government Racial segregation International housing and land markets Housing affordability Housing subsidies Land use and zoning Racial barriers to accessing the safety net Racial barriers to housing International development and governance
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center