Brief The Rise of Market-Reliant Affordable Housing Tools
Findings from the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey
Patrick Spauster, Lydia Lo, Yonah Freemark
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Survey results covering two decades of planning policy trends in US cities show a decline in government-organized housing trust funds and a shift toward private market–reliant affordable housing tools such as inclusionary zoning and zoning incentives. The result may ultimately be less housing support for low- and moderate-income families in the communities that need it most.

This brief leverages results of the National Longitudinal Land Use Survey (NLLUS) to examine how communities have altered land-use policies to generate housing affordable for households with low and moderate incomes. We explore how local jurisdictions with land-use powers have altered their approaches to implementing affordable housing trust funds, inclusionary zoning, and zoning incentives. Results indicate that localities are increasingly dependent on market-reliant tools that provide incentives for or require private-market actors to produce affordable housing as a part of their normal business instead of localities proactively and directly paying to develop affordable housing.

Research Areas Land use Housing
Tags Housing markets Housing and the economy Housing affordability
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center